President Tinubu's full speech at 2024 Civil Service Week gala night


President Bola Tinubu

Below are President Bola Tinubu’s full remarks at the Award and Gala night of the 2024 Civil Service Week held on Saturday 22 June 2024 at the Abuja Continental Hotel.

The president was at the event represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, Chief George Akume.


Secretary of the Government of the Federation, the Head of the Civil Service (HOS), ministers, permanent secretaries:

1. I am pleased to be present at the 2024 Civil Service Award and Gala Night, the climax of the week-long 2024 Civil Service Week.

2. While I was away in South Africa, I monitored some of the activities and especially read the shocking revelation by the Head of Service about hundreds of workers who had relocated abroad, without formally resigning their appointments and who were drawing salaries from the treasury, for years.

3. Although, the Head of Service said some of these fraudulent workers have been uncovered, she should not stop there. The culprits must be made to refund the money they have fraudulently collected. Their supervisors and department heads must also be punished for aiding and abetting the fraud under their watch.

4. The Nigerian Civil Service cannot just be a workplace where ‘anything is possible,’ where workers violate rules without the fear of punishment or repercussion. The civil service of any nation is too important for such delinquent behaviour to take root or be tolerated.

5. The Civil Service is the bedrock, the engine, the locomotive of government, which is necessary for the government to deliver public goods to citizens. As politicians, we are no more than drivers of the locomotives that you provide.

6. Those who say that a nation is as good as its civil service are close to the truth. You are the real establishment that remains to pilot government affairs as we politicians come and go.

7. Over the decades, successive governments initiated various National Development Plans and programmes and all relied on the Civil Service to translate such plans into high-impact programmes and projects across all sectors of the nation’s economy. We expect you to do the same under our administration.

8. This is why we support building, nurturing, and empowering the human capital in the service. This is why there is a paramount need to enshrine a culture of professionalism and build confidence in civil servants.

9. Our administration appreciates the inherent challenges the civil service faces. I want to give you the assurance that we are committed to ensuring the welfare and development of all civil servants to deliver optimal performance for the growth of our nation.

Related News

10. In the past year, I have provided all the necessary support to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to ensure the continued stability of the civil service and to implement far-reaching policies and reforms capable of improving efficiency and service delivery.

10. Within the last one year of my administration, I approved the implementation of the civil service reforms in the Federal Capital Territory administration. With this development, the FCT administration now has its own civil service commission, Head of Service and six permanent secretaries. Now, the workers can aspire to reach the pinnacle of their career before retiring.

11. I hope the week-long event has provided an opportunity not just to celebrate the achievements of the service but also reflect on what it can do better.

12. It is heartwarming to note that the Federal Civil Service is driving a strategic plan that is aligned with the priorities of our Renewed Hope Agenda.

13. The Plan, I am aware, prioritizes Capacity Building and Talent Management through which well-structured training such as the LEAD-P and SMAT-P are conducted. This is in addition to structures put in place to promote a culture of innovation in the Service.

14. I commend the passion and commitment of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR to ensuring that the Service embraces the changes required to make it a World-class service that upholds meritocracy and excellence.

15. I urge all the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives to fast-track these reforms in their respective MDAs as time is of the essence in our commitment to deliver the dividends of the Renewed Hope Agenda to Nigerians.

16. I am aware that due process must be followed in conducting government business but that should not give room for any form of red-tapes or insistence on unnecessary bureaucracies.

17. We have pledged to work for the Nigerian people, and it is critical that all civil servants, and indeed all public servants, recognize the key role they play in the achievement of our full potential as a nation.

18. Today we are here to celebrate the contributions of the overall Civil Service in nation-building but more specifically, we will be presenting awards to officers who embody the values of the Service – men and women of integrity, efficiency, and dedication to duty who have distinguished themselves by delivering maximal output in their spheres of duty.

19. The faces I see here today are those of determined people, imbued with ‘can do’ spirits. I see faces of diverse ethnicities. I see faces of numerous professionals, all teaming up to make this country a better place.

20. I congratulate all the awardees and I want to remind you that
to whom much is given, much is also expected. As you are honoured today, remember that all eyes will continue to be on you. It is in your interest that you keep on with the excellent work.

21. God bless the Nigerian Civil Service and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Load more