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Sanwo-Olu to commissioners: No appointment of PAs outside Lagos public service

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, has restricted political appointees from personal assistants who are not already in the state’s civil service.

This comes prior to the governor’s inauguration and the Lagos State House of Assembly’s ultimate ratification of the 38-member cabinet-designate.

It was learned that the directive had elicited varying responses from the general public, who saw the appointment of PAs as a means of providing jobs for the swarming population.

A circular dated August 18, 2023, bearing Ref. No. CIR/HOS/’23/Vol.1/070 and signed by Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Head of Service, detailed the new state government’s policies.

The circular stated, in part: “It is hereby notified for general information that the Honourable Commissioners and Special Advisers, (Cabinet and Non Cabinet Rank), in the discharge of their day-to-day functions, are hiring personal assistants from outside the State Public Service.

This is not in line with the structure within the State Public Service, as they will not be granted any privileges or access to official documents.

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“However, whilst noting that personal assistants play crucial role in supporting political appointees towards effective service delivery, this all important support staff can be internally sourced from Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, in the state by ensuring that qualified and competent officers are assigned to them, so as not to increase the wage bill of the government.

“Consequently, political appointees requesting the need of personal assistants are hereby enjoined to liaise with the Accounting Officer of affected MDAs and subsequently forward the officer’s name to the public service office for deployment.

“Accordingly, Accounting Officers are enjoined to note the contents of this circular and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity.”

Different reactions have followed the decree, though. Some lawmakers applauded it and called it a “welcome development” that aimed to lower the expense of governing.

Others claimed that the programme will have a detrimental impact on the drive for job creation, especially for young people from all backgrounds.