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Perm Sec Warns State House Staff On Keeping Govt Business Secret

Oath of Secrecy by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court
State House Staff during the administration of the Oath of Secrecy by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court in Abuja on Tuesday

July 27, (THEWILL) – The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, on Tuesday in Abuja warned staff that disclosing confidential information without authorisation will attract penalties under the public service rules.

Umar spoke on Tuesday during the administration of the Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy to 42 staffers of the State House, administered by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court.

The Permanent Secretary, in a statement issued by Assistant Director Information, State House, Patience Tilley-Gyado, said the oaths were administered to staff members who handle classified documents.

Umar said: ‘‘We discovered that due to deployment of officers and retirement a number of our staff need to be placed under the radar so that they will be aware that their jobs, the kind of documents or information they are handling from day to day and beyond, are so important and must be safeguarded.

‘‘That’s the reason we decided to do the needful by administering the Oath of Secrecy, highlighting the importance of letting them know what information they are managing and the consequences of the breach of such information.

Umar, who said that the exercise will be continuous, expressed delight that so far the State House has not recorded any breach of information.

‘‘We have not had any breach. We don’t anticipate having any breach. But then it’s our duty to let them understand that if there is any, there will be consequences after investigations and that also includes after they have retired from the Civil Service,” he said.

Before the administration of the Oaths, the Director of Special Services Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Tukur Yahaya, sensitised the staff on the essence of the Official Secrets Act, 1962.

‘‘The essence of this exercise is to ensure the safety and security of government information, documents and facilities,” he said.