“I retired a permanent secretary in the Ebonyi civil service prematurely because the official could not calculate civil servants’ gratuities,’’ Governor David Umahi said on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
Mr Umahi made the declaration while swearing in new permanent secretaries and members of the state’s Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“The deputy governor asked me to reverse the decision, but I declined, and that will be his first request that I am not granting in the eight years that he has been deputy governor. You can still give me the elements which make up the gratuity even if you don’t know how to calculate it,’’ said the Ebonyi governor.
Mr Umahi said, however, that he might reverse the decision and urged the newly sworn-in officials to read widely.
The governor noted that the civil servants’ gratuity issue in Ebonyi was worrisome. According to him, permanent secretaries in Ebonyi are among the best in the country.
He urged them to maintain the standard.
“We have raised a standard in Ebonyi that makes us compete with the best in the world. Anyone who fails to meet the standard will be asked whether or not he comes from Ebonyi,” added Mr Umahi. “Set examinations for yourselves on performance because Ebonyi should not be your limits in exposure and proficiency.”
He explained that the theory that “helped me, which should also help you, is to regard public duties or services as your personal business.”
The governor stressed that he diligently understudied the Israelis, and it helped him to attain engineering proficiency.
“I was tutored in an Israeli firm in 1987 on a monthly salary of N650. I listened to my mentors, and though I have just a first degree in engineering, I can debate favourably with a professor in the field,’’ he said.