By Adedayo Akinwale
The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has revealed that it plans to embark on the audit of all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to enforcing the principle of Federal Character without sacrificing merit.
The new FCC board was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 2 after being cleared by the Senate to steer the ship of the commission.
The Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Muheeba Npom, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the emergence of the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in the constitution is to achieve national unity and cohesion.
She noted that over time, there is the sustenance of suspicion amongst the people which invariably breed discord and disharmony, while lamenting that efforts over the years to douse this tension have not met the desired result.
Npom stressed that the new board is poised to change the narratives and make the commission a platform for the promotion and convergence of the country’s multiethnic, multicultural and multilinguistic society.
The chairman assured Nigerians that the constitutional provision and enabling act would be the commission’s instrument for ensuring the implementation of the Federal Character principle amongst MDAs.
Npom stated: “Since the establishment of the commission 20 years ago, public perception has remained at its lowest ebb. However, we are poised to change the narratives. We shall work assiduously to improve on the image of the commission with a robust advocacy by engaging stakeholders in a sustained campaign of our role.
“We shall, God’s willing, build on the commission’s modest achievement and quickly move to make the desired impact. I call on all of you to join us on this onerous task of the commission.
“Public concerns have been expressed and we have been confronted even before our assumption of office with seemingly unethical practices. It is of great concern that our laid down procedures and operational standards have been compromised. We have resolved to change these narratives. To enhance the power of prosecution for any erring agency, the commission shall renew the laws and seek for amendments from the National Assembly where necessary.”
Npom stated categorically that the commission would not hesitate to impose disciplinary measures on any erring staff or agency.
She said that it would not be business as usual, as the commission would strive to live above board, stressing that government MDAs must ensure adherence to the principle of Federal Character.
According to her, “To this extent, the commission shall soon embark on audit of the nominal rolls of all government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to enforcing the principle of Federal Character without sacrificing merit.”
Npom said findings revealed that the second mandate of the commission which dwells on equitable distribution of infrastructural facilities and socio-economic amenities has been seemingly neglected, but assured Nigerians that the commission would implement this critical mandate which impacts directly on the dividends of democracy and the well being of the people.
The chairman said further that the commission would equally ensure that all implementing MDAs adhere to the principles of fairness and equitable distribution of social amenities.