Budget mess: Buhari fires DG

•Sacks Orhii, Sola Omole, Odumodu, 23 others
•Appoints Akabueze, Dabiri-Erewa aides

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye & Magnus Eze, Abuja

In what seemed a fall-out of the budget mess, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday appointed Mr. Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi as the new Director-General (Budget). He replaced Mr. Yahaya Gusau
This is even as the President hit the civil service yesterday with the immediate sack of 26 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of parastatals and agencies. These include those of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON and Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Dr. Paul Orhii, Dr Joseph Odumodu and Mr Sola Omole respectively.
A statement announcing Abdullahi’s appointment said he is a banker of repute with experience in managing public finance.
“The new Director-General (Budget) is expected to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma to efficiently deliver on the mandates of the Budget Office of the Federation,” the statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President, (Media & Publicity), said.
It also said Buhari approved the appointment of Mr. Ben Ifeanyi Akabueze as the Special Adviser on Planning to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.
Mr. Akabueze is the former past Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State.
In a statement issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, the President has also approved that the most senior officers in the parastatals, agencies and councils should oversee the activities of the organizations pending the appointment of substantive CEO.
Others affected are CEOs of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Petroleum Equalization Fund.
Others are Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Bank of Industry (BoI), National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Lawal said Buhari however, thanked them for their invaluable services to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.
Meanwhile in the Ministry of Information and Culture, all the bosses in the six parastatals got the boot. Their sack was announced by the Minister, Alhaji Lai Muhammad through a statement issued by his Special Assistant, Mr Seguu Adeyemi.
The ministerº announced the disengagement in a meeting with the CEOs of the NTA Omole, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mallam Ladan Salihu, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Sam Worlu, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Ima Niboro, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mr. Emeka Mba and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri.
Adeyemi said the minister directed the affected bosses to hand over to the most senior officials in their various establishments.
He also thanked them for their service to the nation and wished them the best of luck in their future endeavours.
Daily Sun gathered that government needed to retool and rejig its information machinery in line with the change agenda of the present administration.
Meanwhile, mixed reactions trailed their disengagements across the parastatals in Abuja yesterday.
At NAN, some staffers said the sack was long overdue; they were jubilating.
But in the NBC, the recent travails of Mr. Mba many of the workers had expected him to drive the on-going digitalisation policy to its logical end.
In another development, Buhari has approved the appointment of a former member of the House of Representatives, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as his Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.
Though no official statement has been made yet, she was in the Presidential Villa yesterday to pick her appointment letter.

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