FCC says CBN and NNPC does not comply with the federal character principle.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the current governor, Lamido Sanusi; and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, under the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; are among several Nigerian agencies that have violated Nigerian law in conducting recruitments, the Federal Character Commission has said.
The Commission said the CBN, NNPC, Nigerian military, para-military agencies, the police, judiciary, education, health, and others all violate the federal character principle in their recruitment exercises.
The Commission’s Chairman, Abdulraheem Oba, made the accusation on Tuesday in Abuja at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
He blamed chief executives of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs including (Mr. Sanusi and Mrs. Madueke) for refusing to attend crucial meetings, where issues of equity and equality in recruitments into the public service were discussed.
“I appeal to the National Assembly to team up with me to solve this problem of absentee chief executives who are represented by directors, who cannot really speak.
“We’ll seek the indulgence of this Committee to enforce this matter so that the chief executives would be present at these meetings,” he said.
The Commission chairman threatened to prosecute all MDAs that failed to comply with the constitutional provision of federal character.
Federal Character, enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, has garnered criticism over the years, with opponents saying it become a means of building mediocrity in the society especially as many Nigerians are denied opportunities that they are best suited for.
Supporters of the Federal Character principle, including the government, however, say it is a means to ensure that no splinter is marginalized.
The chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC, Joan Ayo, said the principle of federal character was constitutionally embedded in the operations of the commission.
She stressed that the FCSC adhered to the federal character principle through strict compliance with merit in its operations.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Dahiru Kuta, said the Senate was set to amend the law to put in place more stringent sanctions against MDAs that failed to reflect federal character in their recruitment process.
Mr. Kuta urged the FCC and the FCSC to partner with each other to achieve the purpose for which the principle of federal character was enshrined in the Constitution.
“There is the need to amend the law guiding the observation of the federal character principle.
“We are going to strengthen the law, particularly, as it affects the penalty for non adherence to this constitutional requirement.
The Committee also lamented the high level of corruption, which was prevalent in the recruitment process of MDAs.
It said the scourge had eaten deep into every area of public service.
The Nigeria Prison Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, NSCDC, Fire Service, as well as commissioners of FCC from the 36 states attended the meeting.