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Why Buhari sacked heads of FG agencies

From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja

Barely 24 hours after the mass sack of chief executives of some federal agencies, more facts have emerged on why they were removed.

Daily Sun learnt that most of the agencies and parastatals whose heads were fired were either involved in corruption during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan or associated with the recent padding of the 2016 budget which the Federal Government felt caused it national embarrassment.

It was further revealed that some have carried on their heads series of corruption charges for which investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) were ongoing.

Such chief excutives include the former Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission ( NBC), Mr Emeka Mba, who is under investigation by the anti graft agency over allegations of a billion Naira contract and controversy over TSA remittances.

Former Director General of National Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, who was accused by his Director of Finance and Accounts for awarding contracts running into hundreds of millions of naira to his personal companies and those of his Special Assistant, Dr James Mbachiantim without following due process was among the agency heads sacked on Monday.

Besides, Buhari had recently ordered an investigation into the padding of the 2016 budget after revelations and excesses were discovered by the National Assembly currently working to approve the document into law.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, in a statement Monday announcing the sack of the chief executives, said the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had approved their immediate disengagement.

‘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.

Meanwhile there are strong indications that more heads may soon roll as government appears not yet done with the purge.

A Presidency source hinted that about twenty more chief executives have been slated for sack due to reports indicating widespread mismanagement of their agencies as well as financial malpractices.

It was revealed that Federal Government with over 200 agencies believes that the sanitisation of the parastatals would be done in batches on the basis of hierarchy and grading.

Sources hinted that the first set of chief executives sacked on Monday belonged to the grade of parastatals ‎categorised as grade A while that the next batch would be those under grade B as grade C is expected to follow later.

The according to relieable sources, agencies under the ministries of Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Tourism are slated on the second batch. ‎

It was also learnt that there is an ongoing review of dossiers of existing agency chiefs with a view to determine their relevance in office under the change agenda.‎

Since Monday exercise, the remaining heads of agencies are now litter over their fate.

A check on some of the offices in Abuja yesterday, showed that some decided to stay off their duties out of fear that griped them.

Salary, pension top Auchi Poly unions’ demands

By Omodele Adigun

Payment of outstanding salary arrears, stoppage of further pension deduction as well as the refund of the deductions carried out so far by the bursary department of Auchi Polytechnic are among the top demands of the three unions of the institution before they can call off their ongoing indefinite strike.

Recall that the Joint Action Congress (JAC) of the Polytechnic, which comprises the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) had penultimate Friday, February 5, commenced an indefinite strike following the expiration of the ultimatum handed down to the institution to effect payments of their two-month salaries.

The industrial action coincided with the expiration of the tenure of the Rector, Dr(Mrs) P.O.Idogho, who handed over to Engr Jafaru Braimah, the former Deputy Rector, Academics, last Friday on acting capacity. Daily Sun gathered that, following the olive branch waived before the unionists by the new helmsman, they remained adamant, saying that they won’t budge until their demands are fully met. These include payment of outstanding salary arears, remigration of staff demigrated since January, 2015.

on the order of the Federal Government, contrary to what is obtainable in other polytechnics, joining of Integrated Personal& Payroll Information System (IPPIS), stoppage of double deduction of Pension savings apart from the National Pension Scheme(NPS) approved by Federal Government and the refund of the pension deducted by the Bursary Department of the institution, which is against PENCOM Act.

On the IPPIS, a staff, who does not want his name in print because he was not authorized to speak to the media, confided in our correspondent that the institution “doesn’t want to key into the platform because of manipulation they are using to short change the staff by cutting off all their s under the pretext of consolidated salary structure. IPPIS is Federal Government scheme in collaboration with UN, in fact the project is sponsored by the UN. Staff insist on it”.

In a Communique issued at the end of the joint meeting of the three unions on February 3, it was resolved that “ no compromise shall be made until our demands are met. Consequently, these demands are not subject to further negotiations.”

Our source listed other grievances of the workers to include failure to pay backlog of Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) 15 arrears approved by the Federal Government for junior workers on CONTISS 12 downward since 2009; over- tax, and incessant deduction of tax arrears; doctoring of staff salary chart and production of different versions of the charts in order to shortchange and underpaid the staff; refusal to accede to staff demand for IPPIS salary payment platform approved by the Federal Government but approved GIFMIS platform, which is purely met for project procurement in order to shortchange the staff salary. Staff’s protest against the payment platform last year was not heeded to.”