The Comptroller of Immigration, Lagos State Border Patrol Command, Seme, Chukwuemeka Obua, has said leadership succession and mentorship are lacking in the nation’s public service.
Obua, who made the statement during his pull-out ceremony on Wednesday, said the lack of leadership succession was responsible for tenure elongation in the public service, adding that the lack of mentorship also contributed to the lack of capable hands to take over from retiring officers.
He said, “In the public service including the Nigeria Immigration Service, there are two serious issues. Leadership succession, as there seems to be no clear leadership succession, and there are disruptions and it causes tenure elongation.
“Some people will want to blame the President for tenure elongation in public service but after assessing the people that want to take over from the retiring officer, they discovered that they don’t have what it takes and they begin to do things like tenure elongation so the place will not just die completely.
“The public service is at its knees already and it remains for it to collapse and if actions are not taken, things will get worse. So, the first issue is leadership succession in the public service.
“Another issue is mentorship; it is very lacking and the reason there is a lack of capable hands to take over from retiring officers is because there is no mentorship programme. You have failed as a leader if you cannot point at least four people that are capable to take over from you.”
Obua explained that there used to be super permanent secretaries, adding that the issues pertaining to the lack of leadership succession and mentorship could be solved through reorientation and by reforming the public service.
He added, “Which permanent secretaries in Nigeria today can you call super permanent secretaries like the Udojis? There are none. So, leadership succession and mentorship is lacking in the public service. How this can be resolved is that there is a need for reorientation.’’
“The administration of the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, tried to reform the public service but it got to a point that we got back to our old ways. There is also the Oronsanye report about how to reform the service and bring it up to the standard it used to be some years back.”