Why Dr. Habiba Lawal Deserves National Honour – Former HoS, SGF, Yayale Ahmed

…Mustapha, Yemi-Esan extol virtues of exiting Permanent Secretary, Lawal 

By Hillary Asemota

The former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF) who was also a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alh. Mahmoud Yayale Ahmed, has said, the outgoing Permanent Secretary of Ecological Project Office (EPO), Dr. Habiba Lawal, deserves a national honour because she has had a clean civil service career devoid of any form of scandal.

He acknowledged that Lawal left indelible footprint in Nigeria’s civil service administration.

Ahmed, said: “Dr Lawal, has been dedicated, committed  and focused on her career in the service and has left a foot print in the sands of time.”

Also speaking at the impressive gathering of Who is Who in the country’s civil service administration, the current SGF and HoS: Mr. Boss Mustapha and Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, both described the outgoing Permanent Secretary, at the Ecological Project Office as someone who has had a resounding public service career and well rounded administrator.

According to the duo, Dr. Lawal, remains a mother, family matriarch, an educationist and a motivator who has also excelled in the discharge of her duties bringing her vast experience to bear in the Ecological Project Office (EPO). 

The SGF who was also the Chairman at the Retirement and Book Launch event  of the Permanent Secretary titled “ Account of my Stewardship in the Management of Ecological Emergencies in Nigeria” held at the Sheraton Hotels,Abuja on Wednesday, 3rd August, said the occasion was “more significant as the exiting public officer has deem it fit to document her stewardship as a contribution to history and a guide to those coming behind”. 

Mustapha, further said: “ In her capacity as the Permanent Secretary (Ecological Projects Office), she worked with transparency, dedication, commitment and the drive that makes her an exemplary public officer.

The  result of her leadership of EPO is documented in a publication issued from that office, another first in the history of EPO.”

He urged the public service to reflect on the moments of retirements of most experienced, dedicated, diligent and resourceful officers to make the best use of them especially in their retirements. 

Dr. Yemi-Esan, who is the Chief host of the event in her remarks said, the out going Permanent Secretary was living  an indelible mark in the life of the civil service, stating that Dr. Lawal was very resourceful throughout her career as she had also served in several committees set up by her office to improve the service.

While commending the outgoing Perm Sec, she said Lawal, used her office to mitigate the devastating erosion challenges in two civil Servant estates in the FCT, Abuja.

The book reviewer, Emeka Odokporo informed that the author, Dr Habiba Lawal in articulating her stewardship in EPO in the 278 page book,  captured in eight chapters, chronicled some of the initiatives she introduced to reposition the office for optimal performance and service delivery such has expanding the departments beyond the technical arm of Soil Erosion and Flood Control, Pollution Control, Drought, Desertification and Coastal Management to  include service departments such as : Special Duties, Procurement and the Press unit. 

He said  the Permanent Secretary also initiated the change in name from Ecological Fund Office ( EFO)  to Ecological Project Office (EPO) to better reflect the interventionist mandate  to ecological challenges in the country., adding that she came, saw, identified the problems and attempted to solving them as depicted in the recently launched 574 page compendium on Ecological Projects in Nigeria by Mr. President. 

Speaking earlier in his Welcome Address, the Director, Special Duties, EPO,  Dr.. Famous Eseduwo, said,  the occasion was an opportunity “to re- dedicate  our commitment to the service of our fatherland for the greater good of all of us.”

He said the Permanent Secretary will be greatly missed for her kind heartedness and sunny disposition to the service of humanity. 

The occasion witnessed an array of dignitaries including: Members of the National Assembly, Deputy Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Muhammad Ketso, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, retired and serving Permanent Secretaries, Directors, CEOs of Agencies, Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders, the academia, friends, family and well wishers. 

Signed: Mrs. Eno Olotu,
DD (Press and Public Relations) EPO.

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