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New Head of Service emerges today… as Jonathan swears in new perm secs

By The Citizen
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President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday administered oath of office to three new permanent secretaries, and said a new Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF) will be announced Thursday as exclusively reported by The Guardian on Tuesday.

Jonathan spoke on new HoS during a short valedictory session in honour of the retiring Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Sali Bello, which held just before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The three new permanent secretaries are Dr. Habiba Lawal, John Obinna Chukwu and Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita.

While expressing gratitude to Bello for his 'meritorious service to the nation', Jonathan stated that if not for the need to abide by the rules guiding the appointment of Head of Service, Bello would have stayed a little longer.

The President said he hoped that whenever the nation beckons on him to serve again, 'whether it is ad-hoc or standing, we are hopeful that you will do so. Thank you Isa for serving this country and especially for heading the civil service within this period that Nigerians asked us to oversee the affairs of this country. Myself, the Vice President and indeed the entire members of the Federal Executive Council, that have the responsibility now to oversee the affairs of the country within this period you served as a head of service, quite appreciate you.

'It is sad that you are leaving. But like every good thing, someday, somehow, we will all leave. For you, I have to congratulate you because the joy of anybody who serves in the civil service and indeed any other organisation, be it private or public, is to have the privilege of attaining the highest office.     The head of the civil service of the federation is the highest office in the civil service. So, many brilliant permanent secretaries couldn't make it, not because they are not good enough but for one thing or the other, they were a bit unlucky to get there. But you were able to get there. We have to congratulate you.'

Jonathan further told Bello that 'you are still very young and agile. But based on the laws of the land, you are leaving. A man of few words, he was successful and effective in the discharge of his duties. You have done well, congratulations. Your replacement will be announced tomorrow (Thursday).'