The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) have disagreed over plans to make examinations a necessity for promotions.
While addressing journalists at one of the examination centres in Benin City, Obaseki refuted reports that his administration is in the process of pruning down the civil service through promotional examination for public servants.
He maintained that the evaluation would help government improve the service delivery of its workforce.
The governor added that the exercise was in good faith and asked civil servants not to fear, saying the examination was necessary to fill the available vacant positions of directors in the state civil service.
He stated that the senior government workers were going through a promotion examination and not competency test as being insinuated.
He said: “Before promotions are made, civil servants need to go through a promotion examination, not competency test. They are already competent and that is why they are working in the service.”
The governor explained that the examinations earlier conducted for level 16 and 17 officers in the state were used to discover some civil servants who filled the vacancies of permanent secretaries.
He added that the just concluded examination would also help the administration understand the kind of training needed to build the civil service.
“We are not sacking anybody, but we want to strengthen the service so that they can deliver good and efficient services to the state.
“The examination is not compulsory but necessary for promotion as those who needed to be promoted have to write the examination. If you fail to do the test, then there are no bases to promote you,” Obaseki said.
However, labour unions in the state noted that the whole idea of promotion examinations for civil servants would not be tolerated.
The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Edo State chapter, Emmanuel Ademokun, as well as the Vice Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council, Joe Amokhai, argued that the examinations contradicted the labour law.