NIGERIA: Heads of 10 Federal Agencies Lobby for Confirmation

The administration of no fewer than 10 federal agencies has been affected by uncertainty over the tenure of their helmsmen.

The chief executive officers (CEOs) of the affected agencies, who have been holding such positions in an acting capacity, investigations revealed, have spent more time lobbying to get confirmed as the substantive CEOs of their respective organisations, than they have devoted  to the running of their agencies.

Sources complained that other major problems in the public service were the lack of succession plan which in turn  bred inefficiency, indiscipline and corruption.

Besides, THISDAY learnt that the jockeying for the positions had created cracks in the leadership of the organisations as some directors who have shown interest in the posts had also spent precious time lobbying to supplant the acting chief executives.

The affected organisations where the interim CEOs have stayed in excess of six months are the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

Others are Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PDTF), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Public sector sources said because of the leadership issue in the said organisations, there had been laxity in financial, administrative and operational matters.

THISDAY learnt that in most of these organisations, the acting CEOs spend most of the time lobbying top government officials and politicians to get confirmed as substantive helmsmen of their organisations.

Where the acting CEOs were not quite certain of being named the substantive bosses, sources said they had resorted to lobbying to delay the appointment of their replacements.

For example, since the exit of Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, as the FIRS executive chairman in April 2012, her successor, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Mashi, has been holding the position in an acting capacity and like his other counterparts, has been lobbying to get confirmed as the substantive head of the agency.

On May 9, President Goodluck Jonathan filled executive positions in six federal parastatals, deferring decisions on others to a later date.

In the appointments, the president, in what seemed like a conciliatory move, appointed a former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma, the wife of the northern elder statesman, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, as one of the new chief executives of the federal parastatals.

Hajiya Ciroma, who was also a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national women leader, will assume the position as the new managing director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

Her husband had vehemently opposed Jonathan’s 2011 presidential bid, insisting that the presidency should return to the North.

Other federal appointments announced along with that of Hajiya Ciroma included those of Mrs. Sally Mbanefo as the Executive Director, National Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Mr. Bature Masari as the Director-General Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

Also appointed were Mrs. Dupe C. Atoki who was a former director with a United Nations body will now take over as the new Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC); and Mr. Danjuma Dabo, Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation.

The government also named Mr. Emeka Nkem Mba, the immediate past helmsman at the Nigerian Films Censorship Board, as the Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Prof. Eli Jidere, the Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN).

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