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23 Oct 2017

Buhari Goes Into Full ‘Dictator’ Mode, Refuses To Make Over 100 Strategic Appointments Critical To National Development, 29 Months After (SEE LIST)

Investigation shows that dozens of Federal Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions, are still without Boards, 29 months after President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved them.

The absence of these Boards is affecting the Agencies’ operations, as they are unable to perform some of their statutory functions.

In the Health sector for instance, almost all the Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health, have been without Boards since their dissolution, more than two years ago.

These Agencies include: the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN; National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS; National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA; among others.

This development is raising serious concern, most especially in the medical circles, as the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria last week, urged President Buhari to reconstitute the MDCN Board.

The President of the College, Dr. Ademola Olaitan, during the College briefing on its forthcoming award of diploma certificates and the 35th convocation, said the prolonged absence of the Board would affect standards in the Health sector.

“This very important body has operated without a Board since the last one was dissolved over two years ago. We are aware of the fact that membership is almost by representation, except the post of the Chairman”, he said.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners which sets up the MDCN, charges the Council with the following responsibilities:

Again, the NHIS which is embroiled in a leadership crisis between the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, and the Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf, is without a Board.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, which is suppose to control and regulate the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and packaged water, including all drinks, is equally embroiled in a leadership crisis, and it has been without a Board.

The Chief Executive Officers of the affected Agencies, were directed to refer all matters requiring the attention of their Boards to the President, through the Permanent Secretaries of their supervising Ministries, until Boards are appointed.

In the power sector, most of the Agencies’ Boards are yet be reconstituted, except for the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

There are no board members yet for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, but it has an Interim Managing Director, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed.

All duties and responsibilities of the Board members are being handled by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, in the meantime.
The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, and the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company, NELMCO, are also yet to have their Boards constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, though they have Managing Directors.

Both agencies had the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as Chairperson, under the Jonathan government.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, Engr. Peter Ewesor, was reappointed recently with its management team in place. However, the Board members who should be about nine in number, are yet to be appointed.

Also, the Nigeria Customs Services, NCS, is yet to have a Board. However, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), who should be the Vice Chairman of the Board, has constituted a new management team made up of six Deputy Comptrollers General, DCG.

The Board members, according to the Customs Excise and Management Act, CEMA, should consist of 11 members, including the Minister of Finance as the Chairperson, and a representative from select Ministries, like Transportation, Industry, and Finance.

The previous Board which was dissolved in 2015, was headed by the Minister of Finance as the Chairman, the Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, as Deputy, the DCGs as members, representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Transport, Finance, and the National Universities Commission, NUC.

Other members of the Board are the Chairman of the FIRS Board, the Legal Adviser of the NCS, and a Secretary to the Board. The Board is also expected to have two standing Committees, and a Secretariat that monitors the implementation of its mandate.

Another revenue generating Agency without a Board, is the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS. The absence of the Board in the past two years, is generating accusation of widespread abuse in the service.

The FIRS has embroiled in recruitments scandal, where it was alleged that only favoured candidates got placements.

Also, contracts that require Board approval, are said to be awarded without such approval. The FIRS Chairman reports to the Minister of Finance directly, in the absence of the Board.

Other agencies without Boards include: the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC. The Board is vested with the responsibility of superintending over the affairs of the Corporation; to be responsible for the overall policy and administration of the Corporation; and to make, alter, and revoke rules and regulations for carrying on the business of the Corporation under the NDIC Act.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, despite the economic challenges the country went through in the last two years, is still without a Board.

This also applies to the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC. The vacuum created is capable of triggering lawlessness, underhand dealings, and heightened corruption in many of the affected agencies.
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