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FG increases scrutiny for public servants applying for studies in suspicious foreign institutions

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THE Federal Government has raised the alarm over civil servants who apply for study leave using admission letters obtained from suspicious foreign universities.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Folasade Yemi-Esan disclosed this on Friday in a circular directing permanent secretaries and heads of agencies to increase the existing requirements before granting their staff study leave.

The circular, which was entitled ‘Additional Requirements for Officers Seeking Approval for Study Leave,’ was marked HCSF/3065/Vol.1 /99.

“In an effort to check this ugly development, the additional criterion has been added to the extant requirements for seeking approval for study leave,” she said.

Esan said staff of government agencies seeking to embark on study leave would obtain a letter from the Ministry of Education to confirm the authenticity of the institution.

“Specifically, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDA, seeking approval for study leave for their staff must attach a letter from the Federal Ministry of Education confirming that the institution from which the admission is obtained is recognised by the host country and the Federal Government of Nigeria and the programmes are not sub-standard.

“Kindly note that the Federal Ministry of Education has been informed of this development. Accordingly, any request without the confirmation letter from the ministry will not be processed,” the circular read.

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In March, Yemi-Esan had instituted a committee with a mandate to stem sharp practices and fraud in the enrolment of civil servants on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

The IPPIS enrolled 446,002 federal staff captured in the IPPIS, with 77,651 from the core civil service and 368,351 from the public service.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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