President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, to proceed on an indefinite leave to allow conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He has also approved the appointment of Dr. Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan as the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with immediate effect.
The directive was announced in a statement by the Director Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.
The EFCC is investigating allegations bordering on contract scam to the tune of N3 billion and alleged duty-tour allowance falsification and fraud case linked to Oyo-Ita.
She had offered to retire last month when the heat was on but her request was turned down by President Buhari.
Yemi-Esan, who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources takes over from Oyo-Ita,.
The president has also approved the extension of the tenure of seven retiring permanent secretaries for a period of one calendar year with effect from 1st October 2019, to ensure stability in the Federal Civil Service and effective delivery on the nine priority areas of the administration as well as the mandates given to the new ministers.
The affected permanent secretaries are Mrs. Georgina Ehuriah (Ministry of Interior), Mrs. Ifeoma I. Anagbogu (Federal Ministry of Women Affairs), Mrs. Grace Gekpe (Federal Ministry of Information & Culture), Dr. Umar M. Bello (Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development), Suleiman Mustapha Lawal (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mrs. Comfort C. Ekaro (Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Mr. Olusegun A. Adekunle), General Services Office (Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation).
According to the statement, the decision of government to extend the tenure of these permanent secretaries was premised on the need to ensure that the new ministers were properly guided, briefed on their sectors and to ensure that a solid foundation was laid for the delivery on the Presidential Mandate which they jointly signed.
The permanent secretaries would also help the ministers to manage the process for the preparation of the 2020 Budget in line with the commitment of government to return to the January-December budget cycle and help develop various policies and programmes aimed at lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
Similarly, Mr. President has directed the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to commence the process for the selection of new permanent secretaries to replace all retiring permanent secretaries.
“The action of Mr. President was in exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 171 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the statement read.