Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Nigerian civil servants violating COVID-19 restriction order — Head of Service

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The Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF) has decried the level of non-compliance with directives and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic measures in government offices.

The office said government workers who should not go to offices are doing so, and are not adhering to the advice to limit the number of visitors they receive to the barest minimum, in order to curb the spread of the disease.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a broadcast in April, while speaking on the phased and gradual easing of the lockdown measures occasioned by COVID-19, said officers on Grade Level 14 and above and those on essential services were directed to resume work with effect from May 4.

Mr Buhari said offices were to open three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – and close at 2pm on each day.

HoSF stand
In a July 2 circular, the HoSF, Folashade Yemi-Esan, advised heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that visitors complied with safety and health advice/directives against COVID-19.

She reiterated the previous directive by the federal government that only officers from Grade Level 14 and above, including those on essential services, are to report to duty on a daily basis while the rest officers continue to work from home.

According to her, the attention of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation has been drawn to the fact that these guidelines are not being complied with. She said specifically, it has been noticed that the flow of both the staff and visitors to offices is very high which, sadly, indicates that the directives in the circular in reference are being observed in breach.

She said other categories of officers should be encouraged to work from home as much as possible.

“Security operatives at the gates should be directed to demand for the identity card of staff coming to the office to ensure that they are on GL 14 and above, while the list of those performing essential services but are below level GL14 should be sent to the gates for clearance,” she said.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, appealed Permanent Secretaries/Chief Executive Officers to reduce the number of physical meetings in the MDAs to the barest minimum and hold virtual meetings.

“Furthermore, to streamline the conduct of virtual meetings, the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation is working with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to come up with policy guideline which will be issued soon,” she added.

She said all Permanent Secretaries/Chief Executive Officers need to ensure their staff comply strictly with the directives in the circular, the earlier ones and any other directives, guideline or advice that may be given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Nigeria’s new coronavirus cases increased for six consecutive weeks before reducing last week.

However, the spread of novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria touched a new milestone as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 28,711 confirmed cases.

544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,933 samples across the country on July 5.



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