Governor Bassey Otu has sworn-in Dr. Innocent Eteng as the new Head of Service of Cross River State with a charge to reform the civil service.
The Governor reminded him that, “to whom much is given, much is expected. You are coming at a very precarious time where the state civil service is at the brink. We want you to rejig and put things in proper perspectives.”
The governor, who acknowledged the depletion of personnel especially the older and more experienced ones in the service, informed that his administration was looking for a way to retain some of those retirees in order to mentor and transfer knowledge to the younger generation of civil servants.
“Dr. Eteng, we want to build a smart civil service. You will understand that we do not play politics with civil servants. The bureaucracy is very important as the engine of government, so we want you to rejig and put it in proper perspectives. Due process must be prioritised at all times,” the governor said.
Otu assured of his administration’s commitment to clearing of gratuities of retirees in the state before the end of the year.
“It is saddening that someone would serve for 35 years, save for a rainy day, and then die for lack of cash to attend to their health needs,” Otu lamented, insisting that such ugly trend must stop.
Continuing, the governor said: “We want the civil servants to be focused in their places of assignment, knowing that their contributory pension is due them at the end of the day. Because without these people, continuity in governance would not be possible.”
Expressing belief in the newly sworn-in Head of Service, the governor enjoined him to take charge and deliver to the best of his ability for the betterment of the service and the state at large.
He further assured the HoS of his administration’s support towards the service, saying “my doors would be open to you at all times.”
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Owan Enoh, said Dr. Eteng, who until his appointment was serving in the SSG’s office as Permanent Secretary, is someone who has risen to the echelon of the civil service not by sponsorship, but by achievement and dint of hard work.
He described him as a man of intellect, robust, energetic, charismatic, fearless, hardworking and sound, whose appointment is so well-deserved, expressing confidence in his ability to improve the civil service and bureaucracy of the state.
In his response, the newly sworn-in Head of Service, Dr. Innocent Eteng, thanked the governor for finding him worthy of the onerous assignment of recalibrating and reforming the state civil service, assuring of his best.