‘You’ll be severely dealt with’ – Nigerian Govt warns civil servants against leaking documents

The Nigerian Government, through the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, has issued a firm caution to civil servants regarding the leakage of crucial documents within Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

Previously, the Presidency had requested an investigation into the civil service structure to identify and remove individuals it deems as “moles” aligned with the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). These alleged moles are said to be responsible for the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents.

Reports from HYPEBLOG9JA MEDIA indicate that a leaked internal memo suggested President Bola Tinubu approved the allocation of N500 million out of a total of N1 billion to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume. This N500 million was intended for the inauguration of a 37-member Tripartite Committee tasked with determining the New National Minimum Wage.

Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, cautioned that severe penalties await anyone caught leaking government memos. The warning was issued through a circular dated February 19, 2024, and addressed to various government officials and agencies.

Titled ‘Measures to curtail the leakage of sensitive official information/documents in Ministries, Departments and Agencies,’ the circular urged Permanent Secretaries to expedite the transition to digitalized workflow systems and effectively utilize the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution to minimize physical handling of official documents. This, it is hoped, will reduce instances of leakage and circulation.

Furthermore, Permanent Secretaries were instructed to warn all staff against leaking and circulating official information and documents, with severe disciplinary action promised for those found engaging in such conduct. The circular also reinforced previous directives on the unauthorized circulation of official documents/information on social media.

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Permanent Secretaries were directed to ensure strict compliance with the circular’s contents and to communicate its importance to the Heads of the agencies under their supervision.

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