Experts Shun Civil Service Due To Poor Pay -FCSC Chairman

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The Chairman, the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof Tunji Olaopa, has said a policy of hiring a thousand mediocre individuals for tasks that could be efficiently handled by 150 experts as well as the poor compensation and pay structure have discouraged skilled professionals from joining the civil service.
He advocated for a thorough regrading, job evaluation, and a comprehensive reconsideration of the entire structure.
A statement on Sunday by the commission’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Taiwo Hassan, stated that Olaopa spoke during a visit to the Chairman and Chief Executive of National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, in Abuja.
It partly read, “The chairman said that government has inadvertently institutionalised a policy where we recruit 1,000 mediocre to do work that can be done by 150 experts just because no experts want to work in public service due to its poor compensation and pay system.
“Olaopa further disclosed that there is a breakdown of competency-based human-resources management that lacks the necessary IQ which has been made worse by the way we manage our Federal Character policy.
“He said the issue of pay and compensation is a game of numbers. He called for a serious re-grading, job evaluation, re-thinking of the whole structure, and clear policy and guidelines on the creation and winding-up of institutions.
“He added that, so many institutions were created, later bloated and their staff dumped eventually on the civil service without strict treasury considerations.”
He also called for a decentralised system of minimum wage, where states can peg their minimum wages according to their abilities.
“Talking about indexation of wages to inflation and other variables, Olaopa said the key issue is not wage or salary but some of the non-pecuniary benefits. He disclosed that the policy being worked upon by the Salaries and Wages Commission will help to guide the entire management of the pay administration system.
“He said having a competitive wage will clarify a lot of various uncertainties around this conversation; saying it is high time for the country to practice de-centralization within fiscal federalism where States pay salaries according to their ability. Hence, some States are still paying #18,000 minimum wage, ” the statement added.
Speaking, Nta also lamented that the recruitment process in the civil service does not prioritize competence, leading to an excessive expansion of the workforce.
Nta said, “Employment into civil service is not competence-driven which leads to present over-bloating in the service.” Drawing from COVID-19 experience, he said with grade level 12 and below stayed away from work for over a year at that time, and grade level 13-17 officers handled the entire work in the service cost-effectively bringing a lean workforce.
He further disclosed that 156 staff in his commission run the entire national salaries, incomes, and wages activities of the country.
He advised the FCSC Chairman to digitise its recruitment, promotion, and discipline operations.
Nta, however, said cost of living adjustment for salaries and pay should not be done haphazardly but based on the mechanism of real and appropriate wages tied to the market variable and cost of living.



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