Sworn journalist as Head of Service of Cross River

Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has sworn in a journalist, Timothy Ogbang Akwaji, as the new state service chief.

He is the first state reporter to be appointed to this post.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar, on Thursday, Ayade commended the new Chief of Service for his smooth working relationship with the Commissioners of the various Ministries, especially Dr. Inyang Asibong, Commissioner of MIDC. , where he served as permanent secretary.

The governor said, “I want this to be a lesson for all permanent secretaries, that this is what the relationship between the permanent secretary and the commissioner should be.

“During the short period of their collaboration, they bonded to the point that she could quote his quote without nearly reading it.

“It clearly shows that the cleavage which divides us is more visible than those which unite us. It shows that a commissioner with a good attitude and good conduct can bring his permanent secretary so close that he becomes one.

He described the new head of department as an emeritus scholar, researcher, scholarship holder, an outstanding double master’s degree holder in genetic sciences, management, public administration, as well as journalism, a distinguished man in terms of attitude, integrity, character, honor and valor, adding that he has full confidence in himself.

“I know you are self-indicted. This is the first time I have sworn in a permanent secretary without giving a mandate because I think you will know what to do,” Ayade said.

In response, Akwaji expressed his gratitude to the Governor for appointing him, saying that his appointment had enthused the media community in Nigeria.

He assured the governor that as department head, he will work diligently to drive productivity in the Cross River public service.

“I will work with the Civil Service Commission and the Local Government Service Commission, two institutions of the service which are responsible for recruitment, promotion and discipline so that the two services operate smoothly and harmoniously with the aim of provide the key points on which the commendable policies of the government can be implemented in a transparent manner,” Akwaji said.

He said he will ensure that promotion in the civil service is based on productivity, adding that key performance indicators will be introduced and taken into account before anyone is promoted.

He promised to weed out ghost workers adding “we will try as much as possible to reconcile the nominal roll with the payroll so that Cross River State which is having money issues does not accept any criminal proceedings in the payroll.” .

Akwaji said there is a need to replenish the workforce due to the creation of Akwa Ibom of Cross River, which has left the state with exhausted staff who are in their various stages of retirement.

Akwaji was successively editor-in-chief and managing director of the state-run newspaper, the Nigerian Chronicle. He was Vice President, East, Nigerian Publishers Guild and also Financial Secretary of the Guild.

Until his appointment as Chief of Service, Akwaji served as Permanent Secretary of the Cross River State Ministry of Climate Change and the international development corporation MIDC respectively.

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