EXCLUSIVE: Critics kick as FRCN DG remains in office after retirement

Former Information minister, Labaran Maku

Despite attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 last Saturday, the acting Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Samson Shaibu, says he is in no hurry to step down, in what appears a bold defiance of the country’s Civil Service rule.

Mr. Shaibu’s decision to remain in office beyond his retirement date has angered not a few senior officials at the station, the Federal Ministry of Information and the presidency, who accused Information Minister Labaran Maku of encouraging the acting DG to sit tight in office.

The critics spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on condition of anonymity for fear they might be victimised by the administration.

By the rule, Mr. Shaibu should have commenced his pre-retirement leave in March, preparatory to his disengagement from service on June 22 when he turned 60.

But shortly before then, in February, he was asked to take over the running of the publicly owned station from the former DG, Yusuf Nuhu, whose tenure expired. Mr. Shaibu was the most senior director in the Corporation at the time.

However, more than a week after he should have compulsorily retire from office, the acting DG is still hanging around and running the corporation in violation of service rule, which stipulates that all categories of workers in the public service shall compulsorily retire at 60 or after serving for 35 years, whichever is earlier.

The only exemptions are judicial officers and members of the Academic Staff of Universities who are entitled to retire at 70 and 65 years respectively. The law specifically says that a director shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on the post.

Insiders say speculations that the DG had no plan to leave gained traction when he recently informed some senior staff of the corporation of the existence of a letter from the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation granting him the discretion to either leave or stay on till further notice.

But when contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Shaibu said he had broken no law by remaining in office beyond his retirement date.

“My formal career as a civil servant has expired,” he said. “I have retired from service. But, I am serving a political appointment as acting DG of FRCN.”

What appears an official endorsement of the acting DG’s action, insiders say, came with the approval by Mr. Maku, early in May, for Mr. Shaibu to represent Nigeria in Ireland at an international workshop on Media Development and Politics for Media Practitioners scheduled for Dundalk between July 22 and 26, more than a month after the date he should have retired from service.

Mr. Maku could not be reached for comments. His Special Assistant (Media), Joseph Mutah, did not respond to calls and text message to his phone seeking comment on why the minister approved the trip and is encouraging the FRCN boss to stay on.

In an interview with this paper, Mr. Shaibu  justified  his continuous stay in office, saying he was just following a precedent set in the recent past when some retired  officials of the station were recalled to serve as DG.

He specifically mentioned Yusuf Nuhu, Eddie Iroh, and Kevin Ejiofor, as those recalled from retirement to head the station.

“My critics are just being mischievous by accusing me of refusing to go,” Mr. Shaibu said. “People are just talking from half information. If one wants to be emotional, the former man who was there before me was Hausa-Fulani, who was brought from retirement. Are there two rules for Nigeria – one for Hausa-Fulani and another for the minorities? I don’t think so.”

He added, “People who are talking are those who believe they must rule FRCN forever. But, Nigeria is a country of six geo-political zones. Nigeria is not owned by Hausa-Fulani, who have serially ruled or ruined FRCN for several years, neither is it owned by Igbo or Yoruba. It is owned by all Nigerians.”


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  • Sadiq Garba

    Go on retirement first.
    you can be recalled as DG if truly the oga at the top like you.

  • Yus

    hahaha its now a tribal thing. “If other tribes do it, why can’t I also do it?” mentality. Sorry for this nation

  • Dr Eddie IROH, OON

    Dear Premium Times PLEASE NOTE. SINCE MR SAMSON SHUAIBU DOES NOT LIKE PEOPLE SPEAKING FROM “HALF INFORMATION” HE SHOULD NOT COMMIT THE SAME OFFENCE. IT IS GROSSLY FALSE FOR HIM TO SAY THAT I WAS APPOINTED DG OF FRCN “FROM RETIREMENT.” THE ONLY PUBLIC SERVICE POSITION I HAD HELD PRIOR TO FRCN WAS AS CONTROLLER WITH NTA FROM WHICH I RESIGNED IN 1982 TO JOIN THE FOUNDING STAFF OF THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER – A FACT OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. AT THE TIME I RESIGNED I WAS STILL IN MY FORTIES, HAD SERVED FOR ONLY EIGHT YEARS AND THEREFORE A LONG WAY FROM RETIREMENT. IN OUR PROFESSION, FACTS ARE SACRE WHILE OPINION IS FREE. Thanks Dr Eddie IROH, OON

  • Bala R

    HAUSA OR FULANI. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE HAUSA-FULANI, YOU MINORITY. ALSO TELL US WHICH OF YOUR SO-CALLED HAUSA-FULANI RUINED THE FRCN.

  • dele

    his only legitimate claim to this “appointment” is ethnic justification and rhetoric, not his competence or that he is still qualified on account of age or years of service. he stands disqualified on those hard facts, hence his recourse to minority versus majority, rhetoric…. this is how far Nigeria has declined under GEJ. not even Yar Ardua in sickness would have allowed this nonsense to stand.

  • Dade

    Useless comments by a tribal jingoist! You can stay there until you die! By the way, you have not done anything extra ordinary at the station since your assumption of that office!

  • Ayoagu Clement

    This is very unfortunate especially from some body who call himself a Doctors Phd. Let me put the records clear. In 1998 Dr Iddie Iro took over from Abdulrahman Michika after four years he handed over to Mr Ben Egbuna after a year or two Egbuna handed over to Maria Odeh who acted for one year and handed over to Barr. Yusuf Nuhu before the Phd man took over to oversee. In the history of FRCN I can list the number of Hausa-Fulani that served as DG 1. Dahiru Moddibo 2. Muhammad Ibrahim and 3. Yusuf Nuhu. Most of the Northerners working in the corporation were employed during the tenure of non Northerners. Please ask any member of staff of the corporation about working materials. Even on Monday the Newsroom Director had to buy a Rim of paper for the production of News and other uses. Check this FRCN training school’s record during his tenure at the Institute, investigate his tenure at the North central zone of the FRCN and finally the National Headquarters you will understand who the man Samson Shaibu ss is. The IGR or butter man had only paid himself all his claims by using a coprate Affirs committe that took over the activities of the entire account department and audit unit. The china buss was not purchased on cash and carry basis. Find out how it came. Now that he is about to the arrears of weigh in allowance is being sent their staff accounts. Na waoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Ayo

  • Eji Akor

    Ade yu ve truthfully analyzed the situation.what yu missed out is your indifference and stoborness to acknowledge and accept whole and entire THE NIGERIAN THING”.that shifts &moves about like an amoeba depending who is the amoeba.The summary of all that is sadly happening now is a true confirmation that THINGS HAVE FALLEN APART.Chinua Achebe may your gentle soul rest in peace now Nigeria whahalah no be your concern anymore.Plse beg OGA GOD not to abandon his helpless children.My name? NIGERIA TILL I DIE.