The Federal Character Commission (FCC), has warned against lopsided appointments by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government at all levels. The body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring equal representation of all segments of the Nigerian federation in the staff list of state parastatals, stressed that non-compliance by MDAs will be met with appropriate sanctions.
In a press statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the FCC frowned t the practice of some government agencies in bypassing the required inputs needed from the commission thereby subverting the principle of federal character in their appointments. According to the act that established the FCC, apart from working out a formula for an ell-encompassing appointment structure, it has the duty to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government.
The commission also has the power “to take such legal measures including the prosecution of the heads of staff of any Ministry, Extra Ministerial Department or Agency which fails to comply with any federal character principle or formula prescribed or adopted by it.” Newly appointed acting Chairman of the commission, Hon. Abayomi Sheba who made the statement available yesterday said the FCC is poised to discharge its duties in line with the mandate given to it by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is strengthening the nation’s unity by ensuring representation of all segments in government establishments.
According to Sheba, a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003 who before his elevation once headed the Petroleum Resources Committee of the FCC, one of the 24 operational committees of the commission set up to monitor compliance of government agencies, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has been identified as one of the agencies flouting the federal character directive.
The acting Chairman said the Commission would not hesitate to wield the big stick on any agency that refused to comply with the directive adding, “the FCC had all along been treading the soft lane in ensuring compliance but now, we are going to employ the provisions of the law.” He however gave kudos to some government agencies that had been following the procedure of compliance naming the Federal Fire Service (FFS) as one of such agencies.
According to him, “in the last recruitment that the FFS did where about one thousand applicants were absorbed, the FCC was fully carried along and all the procedures were followed as the federal character principle was strictly adhered to in line with the constitution.
“There are over 600 MDAs of government and the FCC has the duty of scrutinizing their staff list and monitoring their recruitment process to ensure their compliance with our mandate which we will not compromise.”
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