COUNCIL MOVES TO REVAMP FIELD OFFICES
In a bid to revamp the field offices, especially the zonal offices, the Management has approved the redeployment of some Management Staff to oversee the affairs of Council in the Zonal and Liaison offices. This was in line with the Management’s decision at the Management meeting held on Wednesday, 19th August, 2015.
To kick-start this, the Human Resource Management organised a one-day Sensitization/Orientation Programme for these newly redeployed Heads of Field offices on Wednesday, 9th June, 2021, at the NERDC Conference Centre, Sheda-Abuja.
The Executive Secretary, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, in his opening remarks, noted that the zonal offices were almost not functioning. According to him, “For the past 3 years, the zonal offices have not been functioning as expected. This, according to him, is not linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, but rather, is due to financial constraint.
He also mentioned that some staff have retired and were not replaced, and this, according to him, has taken a toll on the staff strength and affected Council’s productivity”.
The Executive Secretary informed that the idea of sending some Management staff to the Zonal offices was because they are more responsible officers who should be more focused in helping the Council actualize its mandate. Prof. Junaidu went further to disabuse the minds of the affected staff from viewing the redeployment exercise as punishment, but rather, see it as worthwhile; as it would afford them the opportunity of rising to directorate level especially the non-Academic staff, which opportunity they may not attain should they remain at the Headquarters.
The Executive Secretary charged the newly redeployed staff to carry out a lot of advocacy programmes on NERDC mandates in their host communities and its environs, and also put in serious effort to revive the zonal offices. He charged them to report to their respective zones, take inventory of the officers and facilities on ground and report accordingly.
On keeping financial records, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Mallam. Ahmed-Baba Ibrahim, lectured the new heads of zones/liaison office on the 'General Over-view on Financial Regulations'. He informed them of the three types of Financial Flow from the Government, namely: Overhead/Recurrent (for carrying out day to day activities in government offices); Personnel (for payment of salaries and used on monthly basis) which is managed by the office of IPPIS and lastly, Capital/Development (for capital projects in the Council), the bulk of which is spent on Academic research.
Mallam Ibrahim warned that each fund is guided by specific rules and on no account is one allowed to spend money meant for one purpose on another as this would amount to a serious financial misconduct.
He also went further to inform them that the approval limit for Heads of zones is Thirty Thousand Naira (N30,000.00) only above which they should seek the Executive Secretary’s approval; advising them not to engage in splitting of requests in order to accommodate the approval limits as such conduct is illegal and punishable.
Speaking on the ‘General Overview on the Maintenance and Usage of Facilities in the Field Offices’, the Director General Service Dept., Arc, Ibrahim Sadiq, informed the officers that they are responsible for the maintenance and management of the facilities and buildings in the field offices.
He therefore urged the officers to take proper care of the facilities so that they don’t dilapidate before maintenance is initiated. He also asked them to ensure they keep their maintenance records up-to-date even when it is done within their threshold.
Mr. Odion Paul, the Director of Procurement, in his submission on the 'General Overview on Procurement and Disposal', enjoined them to ensure that funds are available before embarking on any procurement exercise even as they spend within their threshold.
He further advised them to ensure there is fairness and equity in awarding of contracts, as well as ensuring that contracts are advertised, [when the need arises].
The Director of Human Resource Management, Barr. Peter Anande, talking on the 'Overview of the Administrative set-up of Field Offices', tasked the redeployed zonal heads to ensure that every entity at the zonal office carries out his/her duties diligently. He reminded them of the essence of attendance to work and the need to maintain an attendance register at the office.
He also, informed them of the need to open and maintain proper records of activities at the zone, and reminded them that documents to be filed at the zonal offices are photocopies while the originals are sent and kept at the headquarters.
Questions were taken from the redeployed officers and answered accordingly.