The UN Thirty five percent affirmations in terms of appointment for the women folk is gradually gaining ground in Rivers State. The Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi does not play with words of his mouth. Last year, the governor made a pronouncement that he would appoint more women permanent secretaries into the various ministries in the state.
Due to long delay of the fulfillment of the declaration, people thought is one of the usual empty promises often made by our political leaders.
Indeed, the governor took the Rivers people by surprise by announcing the appointment at a party organized at Government House Port Harcourt on 1 January, 2013. As if t was not enough, the swearing in ceremony was done on 2nd January 2013, the following day. It is an unprecedented appointment since the creation of the state, that five female permanent secretaries were appointed at a go.
During the announcement by the governor at the party, the atmosphere was absolutely quiet; as the lot was cast. Today in Rivers State the number of female permanent secretaries is on the increase.
The governor, during the swearing in ceremony charged them to shun corruption and work hard to move the ministries and Rivers State forward. Though, they have not been assigned to ministries, but the bottom tine is that appointment has been made publicly and swearing in ceremony performed by the executive governor of Rivers State in line with the constitutional provision of appointment.
This recent appointment of six female permanent secretaries would boost the morale of women in Rivers State. Indeed, it is also a time for the female permanent secretaries to prove this statement right, that what a man can do, a woman can do it better. This singular appointment would also pose a challenge to other women in the state to sit up. For many years, men folk have been dominating the position without a single woman. And it is a known fact that in civil service, permanent secretary is the highest position a civil servant can attain.
Therefore, there is need for civil servants in the state to sit up. The civil servants are those working at the engine room to move the state forward. It must also he magic known that it is a rare opportunity for a civil servant to get to the apex of his career. The
female civil servants should have a model in order to go somewhere in the civil service.
Appointment of permanent secretary is done based on civil service law. Therefore, every civil servant in the various ministries or government establishments should sit-up. They should not perambulate during the official hours at the various offices. It is obvious that those who work meritoriously in the various ministries are worthy of such positions. The success of any government depends on the input of the civil service.
In Rivers State according 2012 state diary, there are twenty six ministries and commissioners and out of which there are four female commissioners. And this recent appointment of six female permanent secretaries could also pave way for more female commissioners in the state.
The fact is that governor Amaechi is out to fulfill his electioneering promises made to Rivers people. The appointment of six female permanent secretaries is a morale booster. Therefore there is need for the women in the state to give their maximum support to this administration.
In fact, this is the first time women were highly favoured.
It is also a challenge to the male counterparts to sit up and bring out their best for the progress of various ministries. The thirty five percent affirmative is not a challenge to any sex but for purposeful service delivery to the state and the nation. Therefore, the female permanent secretaries appointed should see it as an opportunity to bring out their best as that serves as the last chance to serve the people in the civil service.
The male folk in the various ministries should work according to the civil service rule as to meet the mandate and charge of the permanent secretaries. Let there be no human sentiment in discharging their duties to Rivers State government and its people.
Once more, Governor Amaechi should be commended for taking the path others refused to follow. To whom more is given, more is also expected. Therefore, the newly sworn in permanent secretaries should deliver goods expected from them in their various ministries to the state government and its people. #####
Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu