The need to scale up efficiency and reposition the wheel of governance for improved service delivery led to the approval of the appointment of 11 new Permanent Secretaries in the Lagos State civil service by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries took the oath on Friday at a ceremony held at Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa, and presided over by the Governor.
The swearing-in followed weeks of rigorous screenings of 54 candidates shortlisted for the positions.
Besides, the Governor appointed a five-member Standing Tribunal of Enquiry on Chieftaincy Matters led by retired Justice O. A Dabiri, just as he reassigned some serving Permanent Secretaries for improvement in their discharge of duties.
Sanwo-Olu said the 11 appointees were picked from a pool of eligible public officers interviewed based on their exceptional performance and track record in their respective areas of duty across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Governor stressed that the selection process was competitive, thorough and fair to the candidates, noting that all the shortlisted persons were given equal opportunity to showcase their competence and their capacity.
He said: “The role of Permanent Secretary is fundamental to the success of every Government. This administration appreciates the contribution Permanent Secretaries are playing to reach our goals and pleasant achievements we have recorded so far.
“I am delighted to congratulate this class of public servants for their numerous contributions made in their MDAs and in the State to have merited this opportunity.
“The appointment of the best personnel further reiterates our administration’s commitment to the culture of excellence for which Lagos civil service is reputed and we will continue to ensure that only the best are entrusted with the positions of leadership and responsibility, with the assurance that this will keep our State on the path of development and delivery of Greater Lagos.”
As accounting officers of their Ministries, Sanwo-Olu said the responsibility of the new Permanent Secretaries was to optimally manage the human and material resources that would be placed in their care, expressing optimism that the appointees would discharge their duties in line with trust placed in them.
The Governor told the appointees that their elevation to Permanent Secretaries came with higher responsibilities and bigger expectations, urging them to hit the ground running immediately and have a smooth working relationship with the political appointees in their MDAs.
“You must discharge your responsibilities with assurance that Lagosians see the best of governance in all spheres of public service. Our citizens must get the best of our services at all times.
“Based on your years of service and capacity, I want to believe this class of Permanent Secretaries will work to ensure more dividends of good governance are delivered to the electorate,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor said the Standing Tribunal on Enquiry on Chieftaincy Matters was established in 2001 to address and adjudicate on disputed chieftaincy titles among communities, with the objective to facilitate and make resolutions of issues through its rulings and recommendations.
The tribunal’s mandate, Sanwo-Olu said, positioned it as a central organ to ensure peace and harmony in the process and procedures for succession into traditional stools within the State.
For improved efficiency and alignment of functions, Sanwo-Olu moved the tribunal, which was formerly under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, to the Ministry of Justice.
Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, praised the Governor for ensuring transparency in the selection process for the Permanent Secretaries.
Muri-Okunola said the appointment came in line with Sanwo-Olu’s avowed commitment to the enthronement of merit through a fair, equitable, and just system, noting that the quality and standard selection of the appointees further reinforces the current administration’s determination to reposition the State’s public service for quality service delivery to Lagosians.
Newly appointed Permanent Secretary and Tutor General for Education District IV, Osinaike Olusegun Olawale, who spoke on behalf of other Permanent Secretaries, described their selection as a call to service in the State of Excellence, assuring the Governor of their undiluted loyalty to the implementation of T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
“We are going to be raising the bar of excellence in governance,” Osinaike pledged.
Those appointed as Permanent Secretaries are Olumide Michael Sogunle (Ministry of Information and Strategy), Okufunke Idowu Oyetola (Tutor General, Education District III), Olasunkanmi Mopileola Oyegbola (Public Service Office), Kikelomo Arinola Dawodu (Office of CentraI Internal Audit) and Abdulhafis Gbolahan Toriola (Ministry of Transportation).
Others are Olubusola Ajibola Abidakun (Teaching Service Commission), Olasupo Ololade Aina (Ministry of Home Affairs), Olufolake Ibilola Kasunmu (Ministry of Science and Technology), Oluwole Olumide Sotire, (Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure) and Ibrahim Amodu Obajomo (Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget)
Other members of the Standing Tribunal of Enquiry on Chieftaincy Matters are Chief Mariam Olaniyi, Adebola Dosumu, Jimoh Folorunsho Kazeem and Nojeem Ola Agunbiade.