There is palpable unease and tension in the Federal Character Commission Headquarters, Abuja after the Acting Chairman of the Commission Dr. Shettima Abba, based on the recommendations of a committee on staff progression, catapulted his loyalists and cronies to positions ranging from two grade levels above their present ranks to Directorate levels in deference to laid down Public Service Rules.  

Most Staffs interacted with expressed shock at the development and called on the Federal Government to intervene before the situation gets out of hand. 

The unease was traced to the recommendations of a Committee on Staff progression headed by a Deputy Director (Admin) who the staff confirmed neither had the experience in Human Resources issues nor in general administration. The committee also failed to carry out a painstaking job nor bring out a foolproof report. Instead, the Deputy Director hid behind the false facade that the Commission can take decisions on its staff without recourse to rules and regulations.

In a letter to SaharaReporters, disgruntled staff criticized the policies of the commission boss as reads below:

A cursory look at the Summary of Recommendations of this Deputy Director of Admin’s report lends credence to our earlier communicated assertions on his inexperience and proclivity for cronyism. 

Of note, the ‘Notional Promotion and Proper Placement’ guidelines utilized by the Director has been abolished by the Federal Government, and we are convinced the said Director feigned ignorance of this due to his hidden agenda.

Dr. Shettima Abba

The cancellations of the above terms, which were used to catapult cronies of the Acting Executive Chairman is clearly stated in Circulars issued by the Federal Civil Service Commission. The references of the respective Circulars are as follows:

FC.6243/S.1/VOL.XVIII/5 of 28th May 2010 – REVIEW (CANCELLATION) OF POLICY ON GRANTING OF NOTIONAL PROMOTION

FCSC/CHMN/CL/17/VOL.1/36 of 22nd October 2013 – ADHERENCE TO PUBLIC SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING APPOINTMENT, TRANSFER OF SERVICE, SECONDMENT, NOTIONAL PROMOTION AND AN ABERRATION CALLED ‘PROPER PLACEMENT.''

These Circulars are explicit enough for a Government Organization to adhere strictly. Wherein lies the career progression of the other staff that are not fortunate enough to enjoy this ‘windfall?’ Analysis of the recommendations of the White Paper Committee reveals an interesting scenario: Cronies appointments were reviewed, ‘properly placed,’ promoted and have it take effect, notionally! 

Another scenario is the conversion of some Technical Officers that have reached their bar in the Service to Admin Officer (Production). We doubt the availability of this cadre in the Scheme of Service. We strongly believe it is just a coinage by the inept Committee to favor loyalists. We, therefore, ask the following pertinent questions:

Is the Federal Character Commission above the law by openly disregarding extant circulars?
Are the Acting Executive Chairman’s cronies and loyalists the only staff in the Commission?
What now happens to the other staff that have not enjoyed this windfall?

The present headship i.e. Executive Chairman and Secretary of the Commission are both in an acting capacity, do they have the powers to review staff appointments and backdate them at will?

Can a Deputy Director review the report of a Committee headed by a Director? Is it normal? 

These questions and many more bogs the mind and in the interest of fairness and career progression of the other staff, we join the other staff to call on Government to put a stop to this sham by maintaining status quo ante.

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