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Appointments to CBN, EFCC, JSC boards flout federal character –Senate


Senators were sharply divided along geo-political lines at yesterday plenary over the lack of observance of the federal character principle in federal appointments by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Many senators argued that President Jonathan’s nominations did not adhere to the principles of federal character as enshrined in Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Senators expressed reservations about the president’s nominations during confirmation of board appointments into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Senate President David Mark equally expressed reservations about the matter. Although he described the reservations of his colleagues as ‘healthy’, Mark said the day of reckoning would soon come.

Mark warned, however, that federal character could not be the ‘end of it all’ at the expense of merit in appointment of Nigerians into government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

He cautioned that the issue of federal character should not be overstretched.

Senators were sharply divided yesterday over the confirmation of the appointment of four non-executive members of the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

They are Muhammad Musa Kafarati (North-East), Collons Chike Chikeluba (South-East), Adaba Anthony Adeiza (North-Central) and Ayuli Jemide (South-South).

Although they were eventually confirmed, senators insisted that the federal character principle, as enshrined in the constitution, must be followed in all appointments.

Senate Minority Whip, Ganiyu Solomon observed that since the South-West was not represented in the list of those nominated for appointments, the remaining slot should be reserved for the zone in the interest of equity and fair play.

Solomon got support from Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, who noted that the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) and the permanent secretary, although were from the South-West, were members of the board due to the positions they held.

He argued that it would be wrong to say that they were representing the South-West on the board since they were not appointed as non-executive members of the board.

But Senator Mohammed Goje reminded him that the AGF and the permanent secretary were members of the board. Goje reiterated that the North-East geo-political zone had always been forgotten in terms of appointment.

He added that Kafarati appointed from the North- East was qualified for the position he was nominated to serve having served meritoriously in sensitive positions in the past.

Senator Smart Adeyemi, however, advised the chamber to amend the CBN Act to accommodate all geo-political zones of the country in future appointments as a way of reflecting the federal character principle.

He said senators struggled to ensure that their geo-political zones were represented in appointments because of favouritism and nepotism which had beclouded appointments in the country.

Adeyemi said it was an open secret that people in positions of authority in the country recruited only persons from their areas.

Rounding off debate on the matter, the Senate president described the debate as ‘healthy’, adding that he allowed senators to speak because they recognized that the day of reckoning would come.

He said what the Senate was doing was to ensure that every zone was represented in appointments.

He added, however, that there would be no end to the debate. The same sentiments also played out in the confirmation of the secretary and members of the EFCC.

Mr. Michael Ebong, Mr. Uwasomba Udochukwu, Mr. Emmanuel Ibitolu, Dr. Ismaila Mohammed Dukku were confirmed as members of the EFCC while Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo was confirmed as member/secretary of the commission.

Senate also confirmed the nomination of Hajia Fatima Kwaku and Mr. Olumuyiwa Akinboro as members of the Federal Judicial Service commission (JSC).

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  1. Anthony I Efobi June 28, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Opposition still want to form the govt of the govt they are oppossing. They should let it be.

  2. peter omelazu June 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

    How can s/west with two strong members of the board by default are still Oliver twisting when other regions are not represented at all. Leaders should come to equity with clean hands instead of only me and my family syndrome .

  3. Patrick Agbobu June 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    The Nigerian government is financially broke and barely able to pay its bills, an investigation by SaharaReporters has revealed. The portrait of the Nigerian government’s dismal financial situation is in sharp contrast to recent propaganda by Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Both officials have sought to depict the Nigerian economy as vibrant and robust.

    Several sources in Abuja, including a legislator, a senior bureaucrat and an insider in the Presidency, told SaharaReporters that the government in recent weeks had failed to release budgetary allocations to various ministries to meet their obligations.

    The sources also disclosed that the Federal Government has also borrowed massively from local and foreign banks to pay its recurrent expenditures. They added that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was now eyeing the N3.4 trillion pension funds to enable it to finance its deficits.

    The Presidency source also revealed that Nigeria’s net oil export has been cut by half as elements close to Mr. Jonathan have engaged in massive oil theft with the connivance of the Nigerian Navy as well as members of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta region.

    Since her second tour as a prominent minister in Nigeria, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has constantly told the public that the Nigerian economy was buoyant. But in private she has told close associates, officials of international finance bodies as European and North American nations that Nigeria’s economic outlook was getting worse especially with decreased oil sales. With her blessing, Nigeria has also resorted to massive borrowing from China and several other non-traditional loan sources to plug financial deficits.

    An economic analyst in Abuja told SaharaReporters, “By the end of Mr. Jonathan’s tenure, Ms. Iweala would have borrowed Nigeria back to the Stone Age,” referring to the period Nigeria racked up loans from the IMF as well as Paris and London Clubs essentially to finance the grasping needs of Nigeria’s corrupt elite.

    Another source, a legislator, stated that he was disturbed by the dire economic portrait. He described Mr. Jonathan as “overseeing the biggest era of corruption in Nigeria’s history.”

    At the heart of the latest plot to loot Nigeria’s resources is the plan to plant one of President Jonathan’s trusted allies at the helm of the country’s pension fund to facilitate the diversion of funds meant for retirees for political and other goals.

    The Presidency source said Mr. Jonathan’s inner circle was anxious to keep news of Nigeria’s poor economic outlook and financial rating from public view. “As you know, Nigeria has been downgraded in recent weeks by international financial rating organizations, but the government wants to maintain that everything is rosy.”

    The lawmaker, who belongs to the same Peoples Democratic Party that is the ruling party, said he was sad that President Jonathan and his closest associates are engaged in mindless looting of the treasury for the purpose of buying victory in the 2015 general elections.

  4. Ebuka Amaechi June 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The members of the Nations upper legisla tive chambers must ensure the strict compliance to federal character in the appo-intments to the sensi-tive & key National establishment,but it must not be sacrificed on alter of political exigency.Those to be appointed must be qualified & eligible for such federal establis-hments.Indeed,I quite agree wt the Senate President,David Mark that the day of recko-ning is fast approachn ,The fear of the 2OI5. General elections is infact the begining of wisdom by Nigerian corrupt policians. May the will of God triuph over evils forces, hence forth in Nigeria.

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