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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday sworn in five new Permanent Secretaries in the state’s public service, charging them to lead by example.

The new permanent secretaries are: Daniel Momah, Emmanuel Aghedo, Moses Bragiwa, Bennett Agamah and Maxwell Awuse.

Mr Okowa, at the swearing-in ceremony in Asaba, urged the permanent secretaries to uphold commitment, accountability, fairness and versatility in the discharge of their duties.

He urged them to see their elevation as a call to higher responsibility and challenge that should lead to maximum productivity in the state civil service.

Mr Okowa advised them to be acquainted with the “Stronger Delta” policies and programmes of his administration and pledged to continue to create an enabling environment for the civil service to thrive.

He, however, reminded the permanent secretaries on the need to cut waste and eliminate inefficiency in the service, and enforce discipline and due process in the rank and file, so as to engender a new paradigm shift in the civil service.

“This is the third batch of permanent secretaries that this administration has appointed since 2015; the swearing-in of these five distinguished gentlemen brings the total number of permanent secretaries appointed by this administration to 25.

“We need them to fill existing vacancies created by the exit of those who have retired.

“It is imperative that we fill these vacancies for a strong and stable civil service, necessary for the implementation of government policies and programmes.

“The new permanent secretaries are persons with a broad-range of knowledge, experience and exposure that qualify them for the office.

“As veteran civil servants and accounting officers of your various ministries, you are expected to lead by example. You must show the way in terms of punctuality, prudence, accountability, fairness and commitment.

“Your conduct and performance – or lack of it – impact directly on the directive principles of state policies and government business,” he said.

In line with the World Bank transparency initiative, Mr Okowa also inaugurated a seven-member Public Procurement Council for the state.

He noted that the Council, to be Chaired by Okey Ofili, whose duty was to ensure that all extant laws such as sign-off limits and other standardised regulations were complied with by the state.

He said the Council, as an independent body, was a creation of Delta State Public Procurement Law 2020.

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He disclosed that the council establishment would help to achieve the state fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability initiative of the World Bank.

He said the council would have an oversight function over the state’s Public Procurement Commission, saying that it was the requirement of the World Bank that all transactions of government should be credible and overseen by an independent body such as the Council.

“The Delta State Public Procurement Council is an independent body with oversight functions over the State Public Procurement Commission. There is no conflict here.

“While the Commission operationalises the provisions of the procurement law, it is the responsibility of the Council to ascertain that all extant laws such as sign-off limits and other standardised regulations are complied with by the Commission,” he said.

The governor congratulated the permanent secretaries and Chairman and members of the Public Procurement Council on their appointments, and urged them not to compromise the confidence reposed in them by the state government.

Mr Momah, who responded on behalf of the new permanent secretaries and Ofili for members of the Council, assured the governor that they would do their best in their assignments and make meaningful input in building a “Stronger Delta”.

(NAN).

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