The Deputy Director, Appointment, Promotion and Discipline in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Audu Ikpe Obaike, has admonished staffers of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal under the ministry to see examination process as an assessment of what they have been doing over a period of time in their place of work.
Obaike gave this advice on Saturday, 29th July, 2017 during the conduct of the Institute’s 2017 promotion examination which took place at the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Education Resource Centre (ERC), Wuse Zone 7, Abuja, the Federal capital Territory.
According to him, the examination process is a routine exercise that is geared towards evaluating the understanding of officers and a testament of what they have learnt over the period, saying it is not something that is strange, especially in the public service at the federal level particularly.
His words: “The examination is part of the assessment of what you have been doing. It is something you are already used to and have been practicing; so, it is just to translate it into written form for us to assess you then we, on our part, will also ensure that those who merit positions are moved to occupy such positions.
Responding to fears expressed by staffers over government’s new template for vacancies where the eligible candidates, who are participated in the examination exercise for particular positions, outnumbers the vacancies declared, Obaike said vacancies in the federal civil service are subject to positions in the organizational structure of any agency.
“In terms of vacancies, it is one of the issues being addressed. You know at the beginning of the year, normally, MDA’s are supposed to provide what we call, manpower budget, which is to create vacancies for people progressing from one position or grade level to another. So, I think if that is properly handled, then there should be at least sufficient vacancies, especially at the lower to middle level, where they can be fully accommodated”.
Addressing the candidates earlier, NICO’s Acting Director, Research and Documentation, Mr. Michael Ekoko, who represented the Executive Secretary, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, gave the assurance that the exercise is such that if the candidates read well, they will not fail.
Former Head, Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, who has been NICO’s External Examiner, disclosed that this year’s examination was tailored towards testing staffers knowledge base and currency on the Institute’s activities.
“Exams, as you have always known, except for new staffers, there is nobody here that has not written one before. Except that for this year, we want to be sure that you know as much about NICO; and so, there will be more questions about NICO and NICO activities than you used to have. We are not going to be asking you questions about grammar or English language this year. We’ll be asking you also alot about your knowledge about civil service and governance in Nigeria”.
He gave them the assurance that the questions are very cheap, saying if they have been living in Nigeria for the past three years and at least, interacting with Nigerians, they have no need to read to answer the questions.
Also present at the promotion examination exercise were the representative of the Office of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Mr. Nebo Innocent; Deputy Director, Admin & Human Resources, NICO, Mrs. Jane Anigala; the Coordinator, NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, Dr. (Mrs.) Regina Onuoha, and other invigilating administrative officers.
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