THE Head of Service (HOS) is the topmost civil service position in the state civil service.
During the military era, the position was combine with that of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), making the holder the de facto deputy governor of the state. But since the advent of civilian government in 1999, the two positions have been separated.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) is now the exclusive preserve of the politicians, while the Head of Service is the exclusive preserve of civil servants, in particular a serving permanent secretary.
In Lagos State, for instance, the position is the exclusive preserve of the most senior permanent secretary in the state, though the governor, for one reason or the other could alter this arrangement.
The position makes the holder the No. 1 civil servant in the state. He or she automatically becomes a member of the State Executive Council (Exco), the topmost decision and policy making body of the state, headed by the governor of the state.
The HOS is like any other member of the state cabinet and is entitled to all the paraphernalia and perks of office of a commissioner or special adviser of a cabinet rank.
That is the HOS take home pay is the same N520,878.00 per month earned by all commissioners and special advisers in the state. He or she is also entitled to N500,000 per month running cost of a commissioner or special adviser.
Whenever he or she travels abroad on official ground, he or she gets the $2,000 per week estacode too and N150,000 to N200,000 transport and accommodation allowance for local travel (within the country) of a commissioner or special adviser.
The HOS, unlike the other members of the state cabinet, may not start or end with the tenure of the cabinet. The HOS, like any other civil servant retires at the mandatory retirement age of 60 or 35 years in service.
For instance, the immediate past HOS, Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji was probably the shortest HOS in recent times. She came in February 2015 and retired on Monday, October 26, 2015, when she turned 60. The incumbent HOS, Mrs. Olabowale Toluwalope Ademola, will retire in November 2017 when she will turn 60.
At retirement, the HOS gets a parting gift of a car usually a jeep (those who retired during Fashola’s administration got jeep as parting gift) and undisclosed amount (sources said between N10m to N15m) from the governor (Again, this was during Fashola’s administration. We are yet to confirm whether Mrs. Folashade Jaji, who retired recently got this same car and cash gift).
The HOS supervises the permanent secretaries and other top civil servants in the state.
Their posting, promotion and welfare is under his or her purview.
- TADE ASIFAT