The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar on Tuesday in Abuja asked staff members to take oaths of secrecy while threatening whoever is found guilty of leaking inside information with stiff penalties.
He said staff members who disclose confidential information without authorisation will face penalties under the public service rules.
The Permanent Secretary stated this at the administration of Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy to 42 staff members of the State House.
The Oath of Secrecy was administered by Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
According to the Umar, the oaths were administered to staff members who handle classified documents.
‘‘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,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary noted that even though there had not been any breach, thr exercise will be continuous.
‘‘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 include after they have retired from the Civil Service,’’ he added.
Earlier before the administration of the Oaths, Mr Tukur Yahaya, the Director of Special Services Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, took the staff members through a sensitisation process, explaining 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.