Ayade appoints journalist as Cross River head of service

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*Akwaji, Ayade

The governor of Cross River State, Mr. Ben Ayade, has appointed and sworn in a journalist, Mr. Timothy Akwaji, as the new head of service.

The new HoS served variously as editor and managing director of the state-owned newspaper, the Nigerian Chronicle.

He also served as the vice president, Nigerian Guild of Editors (East) as well as financial secretary of the association.

Speaking at the swearing-in of the new HoS yesterday in Calabar yesterday, Ayade praised Akwaji for working harmoniously with commissioners of the various ministries, especially, the commissioner, ministry of climate change and international development corporation (MIDC) where the appointee served as permanent secretary.

“I want this to be a lesson to all the permanent secretaries; that this is what the relationship between the permanent secretary and commissioner should be.

“Within the short period of their working together, they have bonded to the point that she could cite his citation without almost reading it.

“It shows clearly that the cleavage that divides us is far seen than the ones that unite us. It shows that a commissioner who has a good attitude and conduct can bring his or her permanent secretary so close that they become one,” Ayade said.

The governor described the HoS as a distinguished scholar, a researcher, a distinguished man in terms of attitude, integrity, character, honour and value.

“I know you are self-charged. This is the first time I am swearing in a permanent secretary without giving a charge because I believe that you will know the right thing to do,” Ayade said.

In his remarks, Akwaji expressed gratitude to the governor for appointing him, saying his appointment had excited the media community in Nigeria.

He assured the governor that as head of service, he will work conscientiously to drive productivity in the Cross River civil service.

“I will work with the civil service commission and the local government service commission, two institutions of the service that are responsible for recruitment, promotion and discipline so that the two services would work smoothly and harmoniously with an aim to providing the key points upon which the laudable policies of government can seamlessly be implemented,” he added.

The HoS also pledged to ensure that promotion in the civil service is based on productivity, adding that key performance indicators will be introduced and reckoned with before anybody gets promoted.

Besides, he promised to rid the civil service of ghost workers.

“We will try as much as possible to reconcile the nominal roll with the payroll so that Cross River State that has challenges of funds will not accommodate any criminal process in the payroll,” he said

He further said there was need to build capacity owing to the creation of Akwa Ibom from Cross River which left the state with depleted personnel who are at their various stages of retirement.

Akwaji is the first journalist in the state to be made HoS.

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