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FG bars civil servants from accepting chieftaincy titles

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government on Tuesday banned conferment of chieftaincy titles and 'other sundry awards' on civil servants until after their retirement or disengagement from service.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji, in a circular sent to all ministries, departments and agencies of government, however, directed that where the traditional titles were mandatory by inheritance, 'due clearance must be obtained from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

A statement in Abuja by the Director of Communications in the Office of the HOS, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, said, 'It has come to the notice of government that some civil servants are in the practice of soliciting for chieftaincy titles and sundry awards, an act, which is inimical to the principles of anonymity, integrity and political neutrality, which are the core values of the civil service.

'Federal civil servants have been banned from accepting chieftaincy titles and other sundry awards until after their retirement or disengagement from the civil service.

'The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, however, directed that where a civil servant must hold a traditional title bestowed on him or her by inheritance or receive any awards, due clearance must be obtained from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.'

The HOS had also recently said that, henceforth, any civil servant who engaged in private practice to the detriment of government's job, except farming, would be deemed to have committed misconduct under the Public Service Rules.

The government specifically called on civil servants to adhere strictly to the provisions of the law, which forbids public officers from engaging in private practice.

Investigations revealed that the decision followed a particular prevailing argument, especially during the military regimes, where medical doctors were permitted to practise privately by being in government's employment and also own private hospitals.