By Usiere Akpan
Gov Udom Emmanuel has sworn into office eight new permanent secretaries to strengthen the human resource capacity of the state public service.
Consequently, Emmanuel has tasked the new permanent secretaries to fast track the ongoing reforms in the state public service institutions.
Those who took the oath of office and allegiance are seven permanent secretaries: Mr. James Ndarake Edet, Mr. Godwin Jimmy Udoh, Mrs. Regina Isaac Okonko, Mr. Asuquo Selong Edem, Engr. Udosen Ephraim Udo, Mr. Effiong Christopher Nicholas and Mr. Joseph George Esidem, while Mr. Isaiah Robson Ntekim, was sworn-in as the state auditor general.
The swearing-in ceremony of the new permanent secretaries was performed by Emmanuel watched by a cross section of government officials and community leaders, which took place at Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo, Thursday.
Emmanuel stated that the process of making tangible reforms in the public service institution rules has commenced with a committee saddled to review identified obsolete provisions, explaining that the reforms would allow for implementation of best practices and innovations suiting demands of the present and the future public service.
He stressed that a major aspect of the planned reforms would be to create a fully automated civil service to ensure enhanced efficiency and accountability in the management of the assets, adding that the office of the auditor-general has been upgraded to the status of the office of the permanent secretary in the state public service.
The governor remarked that the position of a permanent secretary was no longer to be taken just as a rank in the service but an appointment of personnel tested and proven worthy in character, experience and capacity, enjoining the new permanent secretaries to abide by the oath of office by placing the interest of the people above personal goals or any other aspirations.
The state chief executive officer emphasized that the position of a “permanent secretary is not a promotion. It is an appointment. We must test certain skills of yours over the years that will help you dispatch your duties. You must justify why you must be a permanent secretary,” adding, “Please let’s see how we can change certain things. Let’s do things better and make sure that we’re moving towards a society that things are done based on best practices.”
He charged the permanent secretaries to work hand-in-hand with the state executive council members in charge of the various ministries to drive the Completion Agenda of his administration, hinting that vacancies for the position of more permanent secretaries would be made known soon, encouraging others on the queue for such appointments to be hardworking and hopeful.
The permanent secretaries in the oath of office and allegiance pledged to do right to all person and uphold the ethics of the public service, appreciating Emmanuel for giving them the opportunity to serve at the top public service position of the state.