‘You’ll be severely dealt with’ – Nigerian Govt warns civil servants against leaking documents

The Nigerian Government, through the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, has issued a stern warning to civil servants over leakage of important documents in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

Recall that the Presidency had recently called for an investigation into the civil service framework in order to eliminate individuals it refers to as “moles” who are loyal to the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Presidency had claimed that moles are allegedly responsible for the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents.

HMTV reports that a recently leaked internal memo indicated that President Bola Tinubu allegedly sanctioned the disbursement of N500 million from a total of N1 billion to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume.

The N500 million was intended for the inauguration of a 37-member Tripartite Committee set up to work out the New National Minimum Wage.

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, warned of severe punishment for anyone caught in the act of leaking government memos.

The warning was issued in a circular, dated 19th February, 2024, and addressed to the Presidency, Chief of Staff to the President, Ministers, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the Vice-President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, all Permanent Secretaries, Service Chiefs/Inspector-General of Police, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, and Chairman, Police Service Commission.

Others copied in the circular are the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Federal inland Revenue Service, Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Clerk of the National Assembly, and Secretary, National Judicial Council.

The circular titled ‘Measures to curtail the leakage of sensitive official information/documents in Ministries, Departments and Agencies’, was also addressed to the Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General for the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation, Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria Directors-General and Chief Executives of Parastatals/Agencies

The circular reads, “It has been observed with dismay, the increase in the cases of leakage of sensitive official documents in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA).

“This is very embarrassing to the Government and therefore unacceptable.

“As part of the efforts to curb this undesirable development, all Permanent Secretaries are to fast-track the migration to the digitalised workflow system, and ensure effective deployment of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution.

“This will reduce physical contacts with official documents thereby checking the increasing incidence of leakage and circulation of same.

“Furthermore, Permanent Secretaries are advised to strongly warn all staff against leaking and circulating official information and documents. Any officer caught engaging in such unbecoming act will be severely dealt with in line with the relevant provisions of the Public Service Rules and other extant circulars.

“This circular therefore reinforces the circular on “Unauthorized Circulation of Official Documents/Information On social media”.

“Permanent Secretaries are to ensure strict compliance with the contents of this circular and draw the attention of the Heads of the agencies under their supervision to same.”

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