President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday authorised the removal of 26 heads of various federal government agencies and parastatals, according to a statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The long awaited, but sudden, sack of the heads of the federal government parastatals seems to have taken some of those affected by surprise.
LEADERSHIP’s checks revealed that most of them were shocked by the development.
This purge, it was learnt, was carried out by President Buhari to settle the ongoing clash of interest between advocates of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda and the incumbent’s change mantra.
Sources within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said that following undue pressure from politicians, who had complained that the agencies’ chief executives had been allowed to stay for too long, the president moved quickly to effect the sack order on his first day in office after his brief leave.
LEADERSHIP has also gathered from impeccable Aso Rock sources that this wave of sack was spurred by the recent controversy surrounding the controversial budget padding that was discovered by members of the National Assembly during the ongoing budget defence by various ministries, boards and parastatals.
It was said that President Buhari was not happy with the development and had to yield to advice from party chieftains to sack the existing heads of the agencies who were suspected to be those behind the unwholesome padding of budget.
It has been a tradition in Nigeria for a new government to announce immediate dissolution of all existing heads of boards and parastatals, but it took Buhari more than eight months to do so – a situation that did not go down well with party chieftains, some of whom may be eyeing the jobs for themselves of their ‘boys’.
On Monday, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation finally announced the removal of some heads of the agencies and parastatals.
A statement signed by the SGF, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, said “the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the immediate disengagement of the following chief executive officers of the under-listed parastatals, agencies and commissions.
“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.
The affected agencies include: Nigerian Television Authority (NTA); Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); Voice of Nigeria (VON); News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); 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); Petroleum Equalization Fund; Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC); Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP); Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA); Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON); National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC); Bank of Industry (BoI); National Centre for Women Development (NCWD); National Orientation Agency (NOA); Industrial Training Fund (ITF); Nigerian Export-Import Bank; National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons (NAPTIP)
The president thanked them for their useful services to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.
To that effect, it is expected that Shola Omole of NTA, Ladan Salihu of FRCN, Sampson Worlu of VON, Ima Niboro of NAN, Emeka Mba of NBC, Olufemi Ajayi of PTDF, Apollinaire Itoua of NEPAD, Munir Abubakar of NSITF, Denzil Amagbe Kentebe of NCDMB and Gimba Ya’u Kumo of FMBN are expected to have by now vacated their offices as directed.
Others that may have by now handed over their statement of stewardship to their successors are TETFund’s Sulaiman Bogoro, Peter Jack of NITDA, Asabe Asmau Ahmed of PEF, Adeseyi Sijuwade of NRC, Emeka Ezeh of BPP, Benjamin Dikki of BPE, Faruk Ahmed of PPPRA, Joseph Odumodu of SON, Paul Orhii of NAFDAC, Uju Aisha Hassan Baba of NIPC, Rasheed Olaoluwa of BoI, Onyeka Onwenu of NCWD, Mike Omeri of NOA, Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko of ITF, Robert Orya of NEIM Bank, and Beatrice Jedi-Agba of NAPTIP.
As the time of compiling this report, only few of the sacked heads of agencies and parastatals had been confirmed to have handed over to the most senior officer as directed, even though there are controversies in the handing over exercise in some of the agencies.
Former NOA director-general, Mike Omeri, was reported to have handed over to the most senior director, Mrs Ngozi Ekeoba, who is the director in charge of political, civics, ethics and values.
Mr Ima Niboro of NAN, on his part, also handed over to the director of Accounts, Mr Jones Afolabi.
Though it has not been confirmed if Joseph Odumodu of SON has handed over his office yet, however, it has been confirmed that a very senior officer was transferred last week from the ministry of Trade and Investment, the supervisory ministry to SON, leaving most of SON staff wondering why he was transferred.
It is now suspected that the newly posted director would automatically take over from Odumodu as he is the most senior official in the organisation.
Similarly, a top officer was recently transferred to BPP from Ministry of Environment and yesterday took over from the ex-chief executive of BPP, Emeka Ezeh.
At the NCWD where music artiste Onyeka Owenu has been the chief executive, officials who spoke to LEADERSHIP on condition of anonymity said the legendary songstress was not aware of her removal until late Monday evening when she heard it in the news.
“Mrs Onyeka Owenu, as far as we are concerned here at the NCWD, was not aware of the development until this evening, and she is already preparing her handover note which, we expect, would be concluded tomorrow (today).
Also, top officials at the nation’s largest TV network, NTA, were not unaware of their sack; even so, the handover procedure was reported to have been enmeshed in controversy.
According credible sources at the NTA, the ousted DG, Shola Omole, breached hierarchical protocol to hand over to his namesake, Mr Shola Atere, who is the executive director, News.
However, Mr Ibrahim Damisa, the executive director, Training, is said to be the most senior in the ranks. As a matter of fact, the source said Shola Atere is the most junior among the executive directors.
PMB Appoints Abike Dabiri-Erewa Senior Special Assistant
PMB appoints Abike-Dabiri as SSA on foreign affairs, diaspora.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as senior special assistant on foreign aAffairs.
She received her letter of appointment in the State House yesterday.
Dabiri-Erewa was chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity between 2003 and 2007 and later chaired the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs between 2007 and 2015.
The new presidential aide was born in Jos, Plateau State and attended Maryland Private School, Maryland, Ikeja, and St. Teresa’s College, Ibadan, for her primary and secondary education respectively.
She later obtained her first degree in English Language from the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, before proceeding to the University of Lagos where she obtained a post-graduate diploma in Mass Communication.
She also obtained a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the same university and studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
PMB Appoints DG Budget, S.A. Planning
President Muhammadu Buhari has also approved the appointment of Mr Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi as the director-general, Budget Office.
This is contained in a statement issued by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina.
Mr Abdullahi, a fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria and a banker of repute with experience in managing public finance, will replace the current director-general, Budget, Mr Yahaya Gusau.
The new director-general, Budget, is expected to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning to efficiently deliver on the mandates of the Budget Office of the Federation.
President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Mr Ben Ifeanyi Akabueze as the special adviser to the president on National Planning. Akabueze will work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma.
Mr Akabueze, who is the immediate past Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State, has worked in senior management positions in CitiBank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa, NAL Merchant Bank, Sterling Bank and BIA Consulting Ltd, among others.
He is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administrators and Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers.