When the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, they wandered 40 years in the wilderness. This was seen as a time of purification and preparation for their entry into the promised land.
As it was then, so it is now, as Olusade Adesola retires on January 29 after 40 months in the saddle as Permanent Secretary, FCT Administration (FCTA), thus successfully completing his 35 years of service to his fatherland.
For Olusade Adesola, the purification and preparation into another promised land began at the weekend when a surprise send-forth was organized by staff of the FCTA where torrents of tributes poured in from Directors, other staff, friends and well-wishers.
Mr. Adesola remains the unapologetic civil service reformist in FCTA and may likely be the last since the adoption of a Commission is imminent under the administration of the FCT Minister, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesome Wike.
This means the exit of Mr. Adesola from office will mark the end of a long era where one Permanent Secretary used to oversee the entire FCTA bureaucracy. This is because hopes are very high over the commencement of a Commission that is expected to usher in an entirely new era where new Permanent Secretaries may emerge and civil servants of all levels can rise to the peak of their careers as Permanent Secretaries.
Mr. Olusade assumed office in the FCTA where he last served as a Federal Permanent Secretary upon redeployment from the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
He started work on September 2, 2020 at the peak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, a time the whole of FCT and the country at large was locked down as a last measure to prevent the further spread which was wrecking havoc across the land.
His critical assignment with then Minister, Mal. Muhammad Musa Bello and Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, was to put on their thinking caps to rid the FCT of the rampaging diseases.
And as usual with doers of good, he faced backlash from his traducers and critics who wrongly received the message of his civil service reforms and went wild launching calculated campaigns of character assassination to impugn his image.
He was also criticized for cutting down training funds for staff, a move, the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) bitterly complained on behalf of staff.
To list some of his numerous achievements, Mr. Adesola served in the Think-tank Committee that coordinated the handing over of former President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to incumbent President Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
He deployed Citizens Engagement Application (www.myfctagov.ng) through the Department of Reforms Coordination and Service Improvement (RC&SI) which is promoting inclusiveness in governance today.
The outgoing Perm. Sec. also chaired the review of the Public Service Rules (PSR) and Financial Regulations for the Civil Service and introduced a number of novel provisions in accordance with the vision of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation which includes the incorporation of Performance Management System for Annual Performance Review and the introduction of paternity leave and other sundry developments.
He introduced and sustained Quarterly Revenue Review meetings in FCTA with revenue generating agencies up to Wednesday January 24, 2024 and the effects can be seen in the marginal revenue increase in the Internally Generated Revenue of FCTA which peaked at over N230 billion at the end of December 31. 2023 when compared to N150b in 2022, N124b in 2021 and N102b in 2020.
He also harmonized revenue collection from the six area councils into the FCT-Inland Revenue Service.
When FCTA staff were grumbling about cutting down their regular training which was being done through the ugly old practice of man-knows-man bases, he organized trainings for over 3000 staff of FCTA on basic digital skills to meet the digitalization efforts of the administration by 2025 when the dealings of government files are expected to be fully digitalized and computerized.
Adesola also harmonized revenue collection from the six Area Councils into the FCT-Inland Revenue Service which succeeded in eliminating the need for consultants thus saving taxpayers’ resources.
He mandated the digitalization of the operations of the Department of Roads Traffic Services (DRTS) just as the new Park and Pay Policy is smoothly running in an effort to boost FCTA’s IGR.
The promotion of staff as at and when due with payment of their promotion benefits has now become the norm in FCTA against a practice where staff were owed years of promotion sometime in the past.
Within his 40 months as Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr. Olusade Adesola is credited with wide and far reaching reforms that earned him the fond name of the ‘Gentle Giant’ from his admirers.
It is little wonder then that at his valedictory meetings with the FCT Council of Traditional Chiefs and JUAC, HRH, Alh. Adamu Baba Yunusa, who is the Onah of Abaji and Chairman of FCT Council of Chiefs, agreed with the JUAC President, Comrade Oluwakorede Matilokure, that Mr. Olusade Adesola is the first Permanent Secretary to ever announce his departure from FCTA.
In his tribute, Dr. Samuel U. Atang who spoke on behalf of all Senior Management Staff said Mr. Adesola impacted positively on him and other staff in the course of his time as Permanent Secretary.
Born on March 18, 1964 to late Pa Rueben B. Adesola in present Akoko North-East Local Government Area of Ondo State, South-West Nigeria, Adesola Olusade, who is happily married and blessed with four children, is a proud recipient of the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger, OON.
The hand over process to an Acting Permanent Secretary is expected to be completed January 29, 2024 at exactly 12:00 pm prompt just as he will pack his bags and return back to his house as a Volunteer Ambassador for Peace in his quiet and private life.
- Emmanuel Tortiv, is the Principal Press Secretary to the Permanent Secretary, FCTA