Civil servants are mostly career officers who are expected to serve until retirement after 35 years of service or until age 60.
With the exception of farming, they have always been prohibited from performing any work outside of their office occupations, and any action taken in violation of this policy could result in dismissal.
Private practice is seen as a detriment to the provision of services to the general public for which they were recruited.
This policy is enshrined in the constitution, specifically in Part 1, 5th Schedule, Section 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states that “Without prejudice to the generality of the preceding paragraph, an officer public shall not, except when employed on a full-time basis, engage in or participate in the management or operation of any private business, profession or trade, but nothing in the paragraph does not prevent a civil servant from engaging in agriculture. »
For years, government employees have defied politics because they claim they are underpaid and therefore need more money.
Using the name of a family member who is not already employed has allowed individuals to start and run successful businesses away from the prying eyes of the authorities.
However, an amended bill in the 1999 Constitution will now allow public officials to engage in health care, education, production and services other than agriculture, and it was enacted both by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
To become law, it must be approved by two-thirds of the state legislatures before it is sent to the president for signature.
This clause has generated a great deal of enthusiasm among civil servants who believe that the reform is long overdue.
This should provide them with alternative sources of income in addition to their salary.
Nobody can deny that this new course has its advantages.
The state of a nation is reflected in its civil service, and no nation has ever exceeded the level of its civil service.
There is some hope that the low pay that encourages officials to engage in dishonest behavior and side hustle would be stamped out.
Although public employees must ensure that any additional activity does not interfere with their fundamental commitment to public service, the proposal would provide some type of economic empowerment, alleviating the stress and laziness caused by “financial milage”. .
New types of socio-economic composition will be able to take root and flourish thanks to this evolution.
Written by Adeniyi Bakare; Editing by Saadatu Albashir