Types Of Appointment In The Public Service

Nature Of Public Service Employment

The Nigerian Public Service rules specified the types and nature of appointments in the Public Service. The terms and conditions of service are usually stated in the letters of appointment given to the officer, at the point of recruitment.

Usually, appointment to the Civil Service either at the Federal, State and Local Government levels are made by the Federal, State and Local Government Service Commissions, respectively.

Appointments to the posts graded G.L. 07-G.L.10 are made by the Civil Service Commission. In respect to positions in the graded levels G.L. 12-14. Adequate measures must be made by the commission to adhere strictly with the terms of the advertisement of the vacancies, which is based on need.

Also, for graded G.L. 15-G.L. 17, consultations, must be made with the Head of Service before such appointments would be ratified by the Civil Service Commission.

The Permanent Secretary or Head of Extra Ministerial Department is responsible for the recruitment of junior staff within the graded GL 01-06. Normally, a junior staff committee is appointed to conduct the interviews, and the recruitment made to reflect the geographical spread of the nation or state, as the case may be.

However, Recruitment in the Civil Service connotes the filling of vacancies in the Civil Service, by appointment of persons who are not already in the service. It is a way in which actual and putative vacancies are filled.

It aims to locate and attract good and quality applicants to the service.

Recruitment involves a sequence of activities considered in selecting, retaining and starting new employees. It consists of the adoption of relevant aptitudes, abilities and motivation, which are capable of developing high performance of the work force.

Vacancies can be filled through transfers, training, re-training of staff, and appointment (on different conditions) of new entrants into the Civil Service.

Concepts Of Permanent And Pensionable Appointments

The Civil Service is a continuous and career service, which holds certain privileges, emolument or allowance as specified by the rule for persons in its employment.

It guarantees pensionable benefits at the expiration of the career. It is permanent in the sense that the tenure is guaranteed and guided by certain procedures and regulations.

The income and the employment are secured, which helps to ensure a stable group and long-term commitment of the employees in the Civil service. The procedures for discipline, termination, dismissal and disengagement in the service are rigorous, and must be followed strictly.

Eligibility For Appointment In Civil Service

The Nigerian Civil Service holds certain qualifications for eligibility into the service. The candidate for employment, must at the point of entry into the service possess the following:

1. He/she must not be less than fifteen years and not more than fifty years of age.

2. He/she must be a Nigerian citizen and must possess the required minimum qualifications.

3. He/she should be certified as sound in good health and medically fit for the required services in the Civil Service. The medical report must be obtained and issued by a Government medical Officer, in a government established Hospital.

4. He/she must obtain a temporary testimonial of good conduct from his last employer or last school and college attended. If previously employed, the testimonial must ascertain the reasons for the applicant leaving the previous employment for the Civil Service.

Also, it ascertains the extent of obligations (if any) and whether the applicant is free from financial embarrassment with his/her previous employer.

5. He/she must not be an ex-convict of any criminal offence.

6. He/she must not have been dismissed or called upon to resign or retire there from, in the Government Service.

7. He/she must not belong to any secret society or cult. Any applicant to the civil service who belongs to any secret society or cult must renounce his membership forthwith, by making a statutory declaration to that effect.

8. He/she must be willing, to undertake the oath of secrecy and sign the security form as contained in form one of the civil service.

Temporary Appointment

This is the type of appointment in the public service that can be terminated at any given time.

It is a non pensionable appointment and may take the forms of contract appointment, part-time employment, secondment, month-to-month and other sort term appointments. The conditions of such services, are set out in the letters of appointments and the rules of the civil service.

The appointments of temporary staff in the civil service can be terminated at any given time by the Permanent Secretary or Head of Extra-Ministerial Department, without any recourse to the Civil Service Commission.

Contract Appointment

It is a temporary and non-pensionable appointment in the Civil Service. It is employment within a specified duration as indicated in the contract agreement.

Contract appointments may be offered to Nigerian and expatriates (Non-Nigerians). To expatriates, it is only when suitable Nigerians for the specific jobs are not available, Contract appointments are however, open to pensioners; people who are above 50 years of age; Non-Nigerians and women who are married to Nigerian and are yet to be granted Nigerian citizenship.

On acquisition of Nigerian citizenship status, they would be considered for permanent appointment. There is also provision for one to specifically request to be employed on contract terms, such request is usually considered in the best interest of the Civil Service.

An officer in a contract appointment has the conditions of his service provided and stated in the contract agreement. The privileges, emoluments and allowances are specified in the contract agreement.

Any interpretation as to the conditions of contract service are usually referred to the office of the Establishments and Management service.

Contract appointments can be negotiated and subject to renewal, at the expiration of a given contract employment. The rules of public service are usually not affected in contract appointment.

Probational Appointment

Probational appointment is an employment period for new entrants into the civil service, within which the officer is expected to render satisfactory service in the post of cognate status.

The confirmation of appointment is determined by the individuals success in the probational examination, appropriate to his appointment; and the completion of the probational period to the satisfaction of the authority empowered to appoint the officer.

Usually, the probational appointment period is two years before being confirmed in the service. It may however, be reduced to six months based on circumstances and nature of service.

It may be terminated or extended based on conditions and progress report of the officer. An officer may also choose to reliquish his/her appointment within the period of probational service.

In this case he/she may be required to refund any expenditures committed to him/her, his/her family and servant, in respect of transport or training given to him.

The refund of the cost of training in this regard, is governed by the bond relating to such training. An officer on probational appointment who fails to secure confirmation at the expiration of probational period, including extension thereof, may be terminated and pensionable benefits denied.

Causal Appointment

It is a temporary and short term appointment which are governed by the conditions set out in the appointment letter. It is non-pensionable.

According to Rule 02502 of the Civil Service, the Ministries and Extra Ministerial Departments are authorized to recruit persons into part-time or temporary positions for a period not exceeding three months.

The appointment is usually arranged for ad hoc and essential Public Services. The appointment can be terminated at any given time and the employee is only paid a stipend.

Differences Among Deployment, Posting, Secondment And Transfer


This involves the arrangement of staff in the service to specific ministries, departments and assignments. Deployment is often done in terms of the needs of the service.

The power to deploy officers belonged to is exercised by the Permanent Secretaries/Heads Of Departments in respect of pool staff.

The Head of Service is responsible for the deployment of Permanent Secretaries to respective Ministries and Government Departments.


This is an internal tranfer of an officer from a Ministry or Department, Unit and Division to another. It is also based on need and the exigencies of service.


This refers to the temporary release of an officer to the service of another government agency body institutions or organizations, for a specified period.

Secondment is usually determined by the respective Ministry or Extra-Ministerial Department of the applicants choice. It could be for international or special assignment outside the scope of civil service and on the grounds of public policy.

Every applicants for secondment is expected to be backed up by confidential report of the affected officer within the immediate period of three years of such application.

The civil service commissionis expected to ratify every proposed to this effect, and to receive quaterly reports returns on the affected officer. It is usually for a duration of two years and subject to extension.

However, for possible re-engagement, the officer is expected to duly inform the permanent Secretary, Head of Extra-Ministerial Department involved, for documentation and upkeep of records.


According to the Public Service Rules (2000) transfer is referred to as the permanent release of an officer in the civil service, from one schedule service to another.

It may either be from one class to another within the service. This may be due to the need in the service, or to fill vacancies, which exist in a relevant grade in the applicant’s discipline or specialty.

Every tranfer appointment must be supported by the officer’s APER record for years preceding the date of transfer; evidence of confirmation of appointment qualifications and status.

The Permanent Secretary/Head of Extra-Ministerial Department shall determine in conjunction with he Civil Service Commission, the purpose and the confirmation of tranfer.

For officers within the Graded G.L. 01-06, the Junior Staff Committee is responsible for their transfer and secondment, while officers on Graded level G.L 07-10, their transfer are arranged by the Civil Service Commissiom.

While, Graded level GL 12 and above, have their transfer determined by the civil service commission through the head of Service of the respective state, Federal or Local Government.