The Daunting Tasks Before Ogun New HoS, Selimot - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Daunting Tasks Before Ogun New HoS, Selimot


                            •Alhaja Selimot


From Babalola Gafar, Abeokuta

Governor  Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has appointed Alhaja Selimot Olapeju Ottun as the new Head of Service in the state.

Mrs Ottun succeeded TPL Amope Ajibola Chokor, who bowed honourably out of the public service of the state at the weekend.

The new Ogun Head of Service, Selimot, born in 1961 has just one and a half year to spend in the service of the state, yet has also many daunting challenges she is likely to contend with, even before she settles down to ascertain whether her office chair rests on four legs or less.

Among the many numerous challenges is the non implementation of the new minimum wage agreed between government and labour leaders which was expected to have taken effect from March 2020.

There are also the issues of accumulated five years leave bonus and the alleged unremmittance of deductions by the state government from workers' salaries.

During the last Workers Day, Governor Abiodun admitted that the most pressing issue confronting him was how to commence the payment of the minimum wage as agreed between his administration and the organised labour. 

He also admitted that he was not unaware that the organised labour were expecting him to make certain pronouncements regarding their welfare, but pointed out  that the administration was  also weighing options amid the impact of the COVID - 19 pandemic on the state resources.

He however, assured that the administration had set up a joint committee with labour to assess the impact of pandemic on the staff welfare and identify all the outstanding issues and how they could be addressed in the wake of the novel disease.

 "By far the most pressing however, is the commencement of the payment of the new minimum wage as agreed between Government and Labour, and some others related matters. 

"As part of our Administration’s sincere commitment to fulfil our part of the agreement on the payment, we have set up a joint committee with labour to assess the impact of COVID-19 on staff welfare and identify all the outstanding issues and how these could be addressed in the wake of COVID-19," the Governor said at the time.

These outstanding issues are tinder boxes that would stare the new Head of Service on the face as the number one civil servant in the Gateway State  and if not carefully handled, could set off a chain of intractable industrial actions from the state's workforce. 

But there is no doubt that the accomplished psychologist, community development expert and administrator, who becomes the fifth woman to occupy the office and the 17th Head of Service since the creation of the State, is a capable hand.

Until her appointment, Selimot Ottun was Permanent Secretary in the Bureau of Political Affairs and Administration and has previously served as Permanent Secretary at the State’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism between 2015 and 2019.

She is a 1985 graduate of Psychology from the nation’s premier University – the University of Ibadan - and the new Head of Service also earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrated Development from the Pan African Institute of Development, Bua in Cameroon.

She has coordinated many Community Development and Gender Programmes for the State Government and was also the State Director of the United Nations Gender Development Programme between 2009 and 2015.

Also, she has over the years proven to be an asset in different leadership roles she was saddled with, and is known to have used her network and creative ingenuity to adapt to changes in public sector management. 

There is also no denying the fact that Selimot will bring her experience and understanding of human behaviour as well as successes recorded in many fronts in the civil service, to bear on her new posting.

Even Governor Abiodun has expressed the confidence  that she would put her vast knowledge in the management of the state civil service to good use in her new assignment. 

The new Head of Service is happily married and she is the President of Remo Secondary School, Sagamu 73/78set.

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