The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has advised the Federal Government to shun politics in the appointment of persons into government agencies.
Onaiyekan made the call at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Chapel of St Gabriel’s Catholic Chaplaincy, Abuja.
The event was part of the programme for the ongoing meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.
Onaiyekan stressed that appointments into federal agencies should be based on competence and merit and not on political leaning.
This, he said, was one area the present government could demonstrate its change agenda, adding that heads of parastatals should be assessed based on their performance and not on political connections.
He maintained that political appointments should be based on competence and experience of the individual to ensure that the rights persons were protected.
He, however, said that there was no need for the government to disengage heads of parastatals who had done well since the inception of the present administration eight months ago.
“I would have expected that if this government is talking of change, this will be one area where they should demonstrate change.”
He advised the recently disengaged heads of government agencies not to panic.
Meanwhile, the President, Catholic Bishop’s Conference, Most. Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has also urged the government to be honest and transparent with the country`s budget.
This, he said, was critical to improve the lives of the people.
“We are not concerned about the grammar or the technical details of the budget.
“I just want to see a budget that is honest and transparent, that translates into improving the lives of the people.
“I work with the grassroots; I go to the villages and I see the lack of water, good health, education and infrastructure.
“When I go, they ask me as a Bishop, to provide for them even though I am not a social worker, though we collect little funds to help.”
Kaigama, therefore, urged the government to give priority to the provision good health and education in rural areas.