EMPLOYEES of government designated as civil servants are important segment of the society.
THEY serve as custodians of government resources and trustees of the common wealth therefore, influence growth and development and represent a rallying point in governance. The civil service in Nigeria is guided by rules and regulations for optimum performance.
WHILE it is identified by a federal, state and local government structure, the members are recognized by the part of the tripod- federal, state or local government- they belong and operate within the purview of a law specifying service duration and retirement, promotion, leave and other conditions.
COMMON to every civil servant is retirement on attainment of age sixty or after thirty five years of service. This often results to depletion of staff with a periodic exercise to replace exited or retired staff of the civil service as a practice that is seldom ignored but now assuming a common trend in many states of the federation due to the prevailing economic tempest in the nation. The continuous retirement of civil servants in Benue State on application of the law has left a wide gap in productivity which deserves attention.
THE normal practice is the employment of staff as a routine to replace retired staff of ministries, parastatals and agencies therefore, the state government should live up to the expectation of filling the gap through employments. Indeed, the recent emphasis of the Head of Service of Benue State, Mrs. Veronica Onyeke was employment to address depletion in the civil service. It is curious that the gale of depletion in the state civil service has not reversed the hold on employment by the state government therefore, Onyeke, alive to the consequences, recently appealed for the required intervention.
A large population of employable youths in Benue state makes such interventions easy and the embargo on employment in the state should be lifted. While there are plans by the government to fill the vacant positions in the Benue civil service this appears to pend a more auspicious and clement weather and the financial demand is currently perceived an albatross.
OF note however, is the gain in the reduction of the growing population of unemployed youths which the civil service can ensure with an intake exercise. Benue state being bereft of industries and private establishments of commercial impact, has the sad reality of government as the ultimate employer of labour despite a precarious financial state. The need to improve the revenue profile of the state government can therefore, not be over stressed in the prevailing situation and an increase in accruable revenue to states from the federation account is emphasized. This is to accelerate economic development and to empower states to address lingering financial predicament and satisfy a yearning for employment and similar pressing requirements.
HOWEVER, the civil service, with all its desire to employ staff to fill the yawning gap from retirement, has a limit therefore, in employment, the focus is on the private sector and the industrialization of the state remains an unavoidable option that deserves creative approaches to bring into reality especially, with the vast potential but little opportunities in the state for wealth creation.
FINALLY, the need to urgently address depletion in the Benue civil service through employment is stressed and the redoubling of efforts to industrialize the state a greater emphasis for a lasting solution.