- Tension in affected agencies continue
Federal Government yesterday clarified that only chief executive officers were affected by its directive firing the heads of 26 agencies, parastatals and councils on Tuesday. This clarification by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Lawal David Babachir in an exclusive chat with Nigerian Pilot, is coming on the heels of reported misgivings by individuals and organisations about the government action, with some civil society groups protesting to the National Assembly to appeal for reversal of the directive on some agencies and councils.
Last Tuesday, the SGF in a terse memo announced the sacking of the public officers, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari “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.”
In compliance with the directive, all CEOs affected by the announcement complied and completed their handing over ceremonies almost immediately. However, some media reports had it that “other affected executives of the public institutions remain in office in defiance to the government directive. Full time staff of some of the organisations were also said to be calling for what they described as “a clean sweep” of the executives as they allegedly were part of the corrupt past of the organisations.
Said a director in one of the agencies to Nigerian Pilot yesterday: “They are all political appointees; they all came together, ran deals together and contributed to our worst economic fears in decades.
“President Buhari should do the needful and clean the Augean stable in each of these agencies and commissions.”
But, according to the SGF in a telephone interview with Nigerian Pilot, government does not run on auto pilot. The directive states that only the chief executives should go and that they should hand over to their next most senior colleagues. Nothing is confusing there. Any other
thing you heard must be rumour.”
Suggestive of the fact that management of organisation must continue in spite of the hiccups caused by the sacks, the SGF told Nigerian Pilot that the misinterpretation of government’s directive could be speculative. Said he: “it is rumour. That is how they will then say clean sweep; sack the other members and then some will say sack the directors. After that, you will send your CV.”
In answer to another question, the SGF said, “it is a step by step thing. For now the directive is for the chief executives to go.”
However, in agencies visited by Nigerian Pilot, confusion and tension reigned all over as aggrieved staff defied relevant official secrets regulations to speak on perceived grievances against members of the management teams of their respective organisations.
Said one in an A-list federal government agency, “How can government leave the same people who assisted the former chief executive to run this place aground to continue their dangerous agenda? Unless President Buhari does the needful now in agencies like Bank of Industry, Nigeria Export and Import Bank, Nigeria Television Authority, Federal Mortgage Bank and similar ones, there could be worse problems at the end of the day.”
He would not expatiate when prodded further.