Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says the nation faces a monumental tragedy when civil servants enrich themselves through corrupt practices.
According to Osinbajo, the greatest tragedy a nation can experience is for the civil servants to subvert the system for personal gains when the majority of the citizenry are poor and struggling to make a living.
The acting president was speaking at the Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday during the inaugural quarterly civil service lecture series themed: "Civil Service in a Change Environment: The Change is Now".
He said: "The power to do great good or evil lies with a few people who form what we refer to as our civil service. When some of such elite see the opportunity as one for self enrichment by corrupt practices, then the nation faces a monumental tragedy.
"There is no excuse anywhere in a nation where the majority are still poor and are struggling to make a living that anyone who has the benefit of good education and good fortune of a job in the civil service should subvert that service for personal gains, I think its the greatest tragedy that a nation can experience".
The acting president reminded the nation’s civil servants that sometimes, they "are described as evil servants."
He, however, asked them to take heart, saying "the best professions are usually the most criticised, but I must say that the wholesome privilege of public service is very easily abused or taken for granted. The public service elite represent, as we have seen, the most important factor in national development."
Earlier, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oya-Ita, said the federal civil service had been in the forefront of national cohesion.
She pledged that her leadership would chart a new course driven by efficiency, productivity, transparency and the interest of the citizenry.