Scores of permanent secretaries, directors, and heads of departments in Abia State public service have been served notice to commence their retirement activities.
This came after the governor, Alex Otti in June, suspended the permanent secretaries, heads of ministries, agencies, departments, and tertiary institutions.
This was contained in a circular issued by the head of service, Joy Maduka and made available to newsmen in the state capital, Umuahia.
The circular was entitled: “Tenure of office for permanent secretaries, directors, and heads of non-ministerial departments.”
The circular said the directive is part of the continuing reforms in the country and in concurrence with circular No. HSA/S.0074/11/91 of 1st August 2011.
“The Abia State government has found it necessary to reinstate a policy that will reinvigorate the public service, restore morale of officers and unlock the new Abia of hard working officers,” the circular said.
“Accordingly, the government has approved that permanent secretaries and heads of departments shall hold office for a term of four years renewal for another term of four years subject to satisfactory performance and no more.”
It further explained that “Directors shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on the post.”
It added that the approval is without prejudice to Rule 02809 of the state public service rules which prescribes 60 years of age and/or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier for mandatory retirement.
“Consequently, all permanent secretaries, heads of non-ministerial departments and directors, who have spent eight years or more on the job by 1st January 2024 are hereby notified to commence their retirement activities.
“It is to be emphasized that the onus is on the permanent secretaries, heads of non-ministerial departments and directors affected to give the prescribed three months’ notice before the effective date of retirement.”
Explaining that this is to obviate any form of delay in receiving their retirement benefits, it added, “the circular takes immediate effect and supercedes all other previous circular on the matter.