The Governor Ayodele Fayose led-Ekiti State Government has begun administering oath of secrecy to its workers as part of effort to check indiscriminate divulging of information to the public.
The State Head of Service, Dr Gbenga Faseluka, who, administered the oath in Ado-Ekiti said the revival of the oath of secrecy was a way of returning to the rudiments and the foundation of the civil service.
The event took place at a two-day workshop organised for members of staff of the Ministry of Budget and Economic Development, Ado-Ekiti. Faseluka stated that the oath of secrecy does not contradict the provisions of the Freedom of Information law which grants the public access to government information.
He said most of the workers were ignorant of the provisions of Public Service Rules until the introduction of competitive promotion examination which its syllabus included the knowledge of the rules.
“Ekiti is one of the States in Nigeria to have domesticated the Freedom of Information law. The essence of that law is to let members of the public have access to the workings of government. “What we are doing by reviving the oath of secrecy is to tell people that our civil service is not a rudderless one. ” When information is to be given out, there is a channel, it is only the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry that can authorize the release of information,” Faseluka said.
He continued, “ There was an instance in which a patient disclosed her HIV status to a nurse, then there was a misunderstanding between them leading to a fight.
“The nurse said you this AIDS patient, a public servant who supposed to keep the status of her patient secret. “We do not want such in the public service that we are running.” The Head of Service commended Gov. Ayo Fayose for regularly releasing running grants to each of the ministries. He said that had enabled some of the Ministries to train their members of staff.
He urged the participants to put all they would learn into use for the development of the state as well as upgrading their own career. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget, Mr Sesan Alabi said that the training would properly equip members of staff of the Ministry to effectively perform their roles for the progress of the State.
Alabi said that the training would cover topics ranging from Registry Management, Preparation of Executive Council MEMO and Procurement of guidelines as well as Financial Management among others.