Confusion over sacking of 26 heads of agencies, commissions

David Babachir Lawal PHOTO:
THERE was considerable confusion following President Mohammadu Buhari’s order sacking the heads of 26 government agencies, parastatals and commissions .
The workings of government machinery were thrown into confusion in Abuja as soon as the news of the mass sacking was broken In Abuja, the nation’s capital where most of the chief executive officers operate, operations were temporarily suspended as it was not so easy to identify who to hand over to.
In a massive re-organisation announced through a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) David Babachir Lawal, the president directed those affected, mostly directors general to hand over to their most senior officers who are to begin acting with immediate effect pending the appointment of substantive chief executive officers (CEO).
The SGF’s statement reads in part: “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate disengagement of the following chief executive officers of the under-listed parastatals, agencies and commissions.
“He has also approved that the most senior officers in the parastatals, agencies and councils oversee the activities of the organisations pending the appointment of substantive chief executive officers”.
The affected establishments include: the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Other are Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC), Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Bank of Industry (BoI), National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Although it is not clear what must have informed the sacking of the executives, inquiry by The Guardian revealed that apart from political considerations, other issues bordering on competence must have informed the decision as some of those affected have a long way ahead to the expiration of their tenure.
The president, however, has the prerogative to disengage any of his appointees whenever he feels their services are no longer required.
Sources said the plan of government is to merge some of the agencies, like the FRCN with VON, while NAN would be joined with the BON.
Such a merger has been anticipated for a long time and is seen in government quarters as timely, considering the drive of the present administration to minimise cost in running its affairs. Also, the income generated by the individual agencies would be thoroughly scrutinised with the amalgamation, given that , private organisations in the same mould, even though without the infrastructure at their disposal, are doing well.
Furthermore, the disengagement of the heads was expected before the end of last year, but a credible presidency source said government had been preparing the people to succeed these crops of chief executives before the impending disengagement. And also, the need for the incoming executives to be in office before the implementation of the 2016 budget begins so as to be able to measure the extent of implementation and compliance at the end of the year.
The confusion in government offices was typified at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund whose Managing Director, Munir Abubakar, is attending the 42nd session of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre Governing Council on Decent Work in the global supply chain, in Livingstone, Zambia.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige is said to be on the trip alongside the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Clement Illoh.
At the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the General Manager, Administration and Human Resources, Moses Mbaba, would assume the leadership of the organisation as the most senior General Manager. He will take over from Farouk Ahmed.
The Director, Finance and Personnel Management, Mustapha Mamudu, at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board is now Acting Executive Secretary. He takes over from Denzil Kentebe.
It was not clear whom Femi Ajayi is handing over to at the Petroleum Technology PTDF.
The situation is the same at the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) where Mrs. Asabe Asmau Ahmed is the Executive Secretary.

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