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by Umar M. Sanni

“Cock Crow at Dawn” is a legendary weekly TV series aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in the early 1980s which ran for 104 episodes before going off the air. The series had many laudable objectives which among others sought to enlighten Nigerians on the benefits and profitability of Agriculture. Besides this, its striking metaphoric title was enough food for thought to drive home the point that every action and purpose is time-bound.

The Legendary Ebenezer Obey in one of his hit songs anchored on the “Metaphor of Time, titled “Igba Owuro Lawa” the translation of which is “We are in the Morning” further supports this position.

I was personally amazed and found it utterly ridiculous to have received the hype that a Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries known as CORFEPS plans to “X-ray” Nigeria’s public service and to proffer solutions on the “Way Forward”.

This, it says is part of items lined up for the celebration of its 2024 CORFEPS Week. My immediate reaction and questions to this extremely belated agenda are, “X-ray the public service from what point and to what point? And, by whom?

For starters, looking at the list of scheduled speakers for its colloquium, little is left to be imagined on the pedigree and level of integrity of the membership of CORFEPS some of whom were immersed in one corruption case or the other and are even responsible for the decay suffered by the Civil Service over the years.

Many members of CORFEPS who still parade themselves as the “Super-Perm-Secs” of their era, politicized their offices and positions to the detriment and rot of professionalism in the Federal Civil Service.
Due to their counterproductive influence over policies and structures in the service, leveraging on their access to the corridors of power, the service was saturated with misfits and incompetent officers.

It is no longer news that the Federal Civil Service has awoken from its slumber and begun demonstrating both the capacity and will to evolve into a contemporary institution that can deliver public good to Nigerians. This is with particular reference to the current technology-driven reforms in the service.

More laughable to observe, is the situation wherein the same body that ought to be a support system to the public service has from time immemorial been a deconstructive critic of the same system its members grew through and managed.

I feel without reservations, that the planned colloquium of CORFEPS is merely a face-saving ploy and an attempt to seek relevance in the current scheme of very welcome developments in the Federal Civil Service. This is with special regard to the long overdue good news of the recent proactive recommendation of the current body of Federal Permanent Secretaries which pushed for the full implementation of the Steven Oronsaye Report by Mr. President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, as published by Sahara Reporters.

Enough of cheap talk and fancy elitist talk-shops. What we need is action and fast action at that. Members of CORFEPS are highly admonished to enjoy their retirement Council Home especially if they have no value to add to the progress of the Service.

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