President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the tenure of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. Jamila Shu’ara, for another one year, the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, has stated.
This will make it the second of such an extension for Shu’ara, whose tenure expired in February 2016, when she turned 60 years.
She got a presidential extension to remain in service up to February 2017.
At the expiration of the extension of service, which has been causing ripples in the Federal Civil Service, Shu’ara got a second extension, according to the minister.
This came while the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education was investigating Shu’ara over how she remained in service, despite having attained the mandatory 60 years age of retirement in 2016.
The committee, chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, had two weeks ago, demanded evidence of the presidential approval for the extension of service from Shu’ara.
However, the permanent secretary kept away from the committee.
While the committee was awaiting the evidence of the presidential approval, the minister wrote the lawmakers to say that Buhari had granted her a second extension of one year.
The letter was dated March 7, with reference number, FME/S/1316/C.5/1.
According to the minster, the President granted the second extension “in principle”, but that a formal letter of approval has yet to be conveyed to Shu’ara by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
Adamu, who claimed to have contacted the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, over the development, confirmed that Oyo-Ita had yet to convey a formal approval letter to Shu’ara.
He added that in the absence of the approval letter from Oyo-Ita, the permanent secretary had, in the interim, stopped functioning in that capacity, pending the conveyance of the approval letter to her.
The letter read in part, “I also wish to inform you that His Excellency, Mr. President, has, in principle, already approved the extension of the tenure of Dr. Jamila Shu’ara as Federal Permanent Secretary for a period of one year with effect from 17th of February, 2017.
“I have duly informed the Chief of Staff to the President of this development, and even though I have not seen his directive to the Head of Service, he has shown me her response, which in summary, is to say that the Head of Service is yet to convey approval to the officer concerned.
“Consequently, Dr. Shu’ara has, in the interim, handed off the functions of the office until formal conveyance…”
Adamu also claimed that there was no need for Shu’ara to appear before the committee to answer questions concerning the first extension of service she enjoyed because she was now a “private citizen.”
In the course of the engagement with Shu’ara, the committee did not only find her extension of tenure odd, but also demanded a written evidence of Buhari’s directive to extend her service.
The members of the committee had last week summoned Oyo-Ita to come forward with the presidential authorisation, but the HoS did not produce the letter.
She was given up till Thursday this week to produce the letter.
However, while this was being awaited, Adamu wrote to say that Buhari had extended her tenure of service again for another one year.
Shu’ara is 61 years old and by Public Service Rules should have retired from service in February 2016.
Under the existing provisions, an officer retires from service after serving for 35 years or attaining the age of 60 years, whichever comes first.