Friday, December 8, 2023



Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has charged the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries in the state to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the two-day Executive Retreat organised for them by the government to sharpen their skills, in order to meet the requirements of their office.

Governor Otti gave the charge on Friday at the ongoing retreat for the new Permanent Secretaries and their Commissioners, holding at PANYU Hotels, Aba. 

He enjoined the Permanent Secretaries to maintain a good working relationship with their commissioners, as well as other stakeholders in government, for a virile civil service.

The Governor said that expectations of Abia people are very high, hence the need for the Permanent Secretaries to get themselves ready for the task ahead. 

"The most important thing which is why this retreat became necessary is that you need to get your acts together and understand how to have a seamless work environment between the Commissioners and other government appointees and your staff in the Ministry.

"It becomes important that you also have a clear understanding on how to work and relate with others because you cannot do it alone. In fact, a large chunk of the job is your relationship with those you meet in office, in the Ministry, in other Ministries in the government and every other person that has a role to play in government. 

"So, if you have not learnt how to relate well with people, it's timely now for you to learn it, and I believe that those that have learnt will also sharpen their skills after going through this two days retreat," the Governor charged.

The Governor advised the senior civil servants to take from the retreat everything that they require to make their jobs better and add it to the ones they already know, "so that your job will be smooth". 

He said: "The civil service, like all of you know, in Abia, requires a lot of rettoolling, retrofitting and reformation. In the next few days, I expect you to have settled down in your different Ministries and begin the reform process and the reform has to be total."

Governor Otti admonished the new Perm Secs to make people a critical part of their work, saying, in every institution, the most important aspect is the people.

"Take a critical look at the people you find in your different Ministries, agencies, parastatals and other areas you have supervisory functions, it always pays to use the right people for the job. 

"So, the most important thing you need to look at is how you emerged from among the large number of people to become a Permanent Secretary. That should always be at the back of your mind; and that's why we are very focused on insisting that we were going to ensure that it was only the best that will emerge as Permanent Secretaries, irrespective of where you come from.

"I believe it would be easier for you to look out for your best hands and put them in critical roles that would deliver you the best result," he urged.

While congratulating the new Head of Service and the Permanent Secretaries, Governor Otti advised them to be diligent in their work, warning that government would not hesitate to show any of them that failed to perform the way out.

"Our government is a government that doesn't live in deceit. So, if you know we have given you a role and you are not able to do that role, we are humble enough to recall you and reassign you, or to extreme cases, retire you, and it is you that would give us the impetus, and the only area of measurement is performance," he warned. 

Some of the participants at the retreat, who spoke, said the session had been enriching and had opened their minds to really understand their duties and collaborative roles as Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service.

They said the retreat would enable them have a seamless working relationship that would help in the interpretation and delivery of the Governor's vision and policy thrust to the people of the State.

They thanked Governor Otti for hosting the retreat and assured that they would make good use of the knowledge garnered to build a new Abia, as championed by the Governor.

The retreat, which ends on Saturday, is being attended by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Kenneth Kalu; Head of Service, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Queen Obioma; and all the Commissioners and their Permanent Secretaries.


Chief Press Secretary to the Governor 

Abia State 

December 8, 2023

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