The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has debunked reports claiming that N16 billion meant for Civil Servants Group Life Insurance Scheme (GLIS), was stolen in her office. Oyo-Ita spoke on Friday in Abuja at the venue of the stakeholders’ forum on the review of Public Service Rules (PSR).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that an online news publisher, the Leading Reporters Nigeria, had alleged that Oyo-Ita and others stole N16 billion meant for GLIS.
But Oyo-Ita, who reacted to the allegations while interacting with newsmen, said that the allegation was false and not worth reacting to. “I will not want to address the very fallacious news item making the rounds as regards N16 billion missing from the GLIS funds. “I want to say that whoever started that story does not quite understand how the group life works.
“The GLIS was set up to be able to ensure that government meets up with benefits of any civil or public servant who, in the process of doing his work as a civil servant, loses his or her life. “This GLIS is the policy that is carried out with underwriters; these underwriters are being regulated by the National Insurance Commission (NIC),” she explained.
She explained that the NIC regulates premiums that are paid to these underwriters and the last group life programme was actually handled by the sub-committee of cabinet chaired by the then Minister of Finance. According to her, the report from that sub-committee was submitted to the Federal Executive Council(FEC), and approval was given for that programme to be implemented. “The fund for that programme is always domiciled with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“The only thing that the Head of Service does is to compile the names of all the Ministries, Department and Agencies(MDAs), that are to be under the group life policy. “For someone to say that N16 billion has gone missing in my office is strange to me and to many others who understand how the GLIS works.”
On the ongoing PSR, Oyo-Ita said that the process was to ensure that the operations in the public service reflect the Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-centred (EPIC), culture of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP 2020). According to her, EPIC is one of the eight key priority initiatives of the strategy which is central and will play critical role to successful delivery of the goals and objectives of the other initiatives.
“EPIC was developed for effective implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the government,” she added. According to her, the revision of the last plan, which was inaugurated in 2007 and published in 2008, has become necessary to update issues in line with the current trends in governance and global best practice,
Earlier in her remark at the forum, Dr Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, had said that there was an urgent need to carry out the revision so as to be in tandem with the contemporary issues around the world.
Also speaking, Mrs. Saidu Mohammed, Vice Chairman, Association of Senior Civil Servants, Office of HCSF chapter, condemned the culture of imposing taxes on Nigerians, and listed some taxes to include housing, transportation, medical, among others, deducted from the allowances and income of civil servants. “Such practice is not obtainable anywhere in the world. “It is because of these deductions that civil servants complain of poor salary. The review is very handy and this is the very good time for it,” she said. (NAN)