By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Federal Government has described the Nigerian public service as its engine room, saying it is not a dumping ground for people who have nothing to offer to societal development.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the unveiling of the book “On Merit”, written by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah-Arisa.
Speaking at the event, Mustapha who paid glowing tributes to the permanent secretary said; “The public service should not be a dumping ground. It is supposed to be the engine room that drives the nation, and the public service is a reflection of what a nation will become and what it is.”
On his part, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the permanent secretary “is in a class of her own. She is the quintessential civil servant – loyal, diligent, firm, efficient, effective, knowledgeable, and hard-working.”
In the speech titled “Eulogy to an Amazon,” Aregbesola said the Permanent Secretary has proven to be an excellent civil servant.
“She has commendably blessed us with her autobiography. One of the benefits of reading is that the reader acquires the wisdom it takes the author, in our case, 35 years, to garner, in the length of time it takes to read the book. Her book, therefore, is 35 years compressed into a few pages. No wonder Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘There is properly no history, the only biography’. If you avail yourself of reading the biographies of the great people of history, you already have a history in your hands.
“Her book is therefore a treasure trove of the experience and wisdom of her meritorious service. It should be a compulsory read for students and teachers of public administration and civil servants. Beyond that, as I have always advocated, someone with her experience should have a place as a faculty in any top university and civil service training academy, teaching public administration and shaping the intellect of those who will mind public service at all levels in the country”, Aregbesola said.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi Esan on her part described the author as one of the finest bureaucrats the country has produced.
According to her, the book would serve as reference material and guide for civil servants in the country.
The author, Ehuriah-Arisa said the book “On Merit” would help boost the morale of civil servants and thus enhance their productivity.
According to her, she wrote the book as a way of giving back to a system which gave her the privilege to serve and get rewarded accordingly.