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Monday, 23 November 2020

Tension in FCTA as Minister Refuses to Inaugurate Secretaries

Palpable tension currently enveloped the Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA),  as the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT)  Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello has refused to inaugurate Secretaries for the seven mandate Secretariats, ten solid months after approval by President Muhamnadu Buhari .

President Buhari had in February this year  upon request from the FCT Minister, reportedly approved appointments of Secretaries for the Seven Mandate Secretariats.

The Mandate Secretariats to be headed by the Secretaries in capacities like Commissioners in the state are Education, Health, Agriculture, Transportation, Social Development,  Area Councils and Legal Services.

As a result of refusal of the Minister to inaugurate the Secretaries, effective administration across the seven mandate Secretariats have been seriously affected as most senior civil servants are running them in acting capacity.

Sources among staffers of the FCTA across the seven  Secretariats revealed that tempers are already rising among management and staff over the refusal of the Minister to do the needful in that respect .

"What the Minister is doing since February, is like a State Governor refusing to appoint Commissioners to see to smooth administration of Ministries and Implementation of policy direction of government.

"None of the FCT Ministers before the current one created the type of leadership vacuum and administrative bottleneck being experienced across the seven Mandate Secretariats.

"He did the same thing between 2015 and 2016 when he was first appointed as FCT Minister by delaying inauguration of such highly required secretaries till November 2016 a year after his own inauguration as Minister.

"The situation at hand now is even worse, because the Minister was sworn into office again in August 2019 and yet to inaugurate Mandate Secretariats Secretaries 14 months after", lamented one of the staffers.

The situation according to another management staff who craved anonymity, is even compounded with the absence of Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), who is expected to  oversee the management of the Federal Capital City .

"Had it been the Coordinator is appointed and inaugurated, agencies such as the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Abuja Development Control, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), would have been carrying out their functions very effectively.

"Look at how filthy the city is with refuse dumps here and there, street light not functioning, street urchins and beggars returning and so on and fort", he queried.

However in a telephone conversation, the the Special Adviser (Media) office of the Minister of State, FCT, Mr Austine Elemue, said it is not true that the Minister is sitting on the appointments because of his position as FCT Minister, adding that the responsibility is that of Mr President.

His words: "Do you know, the truth about it is this; the appointment of mandate secretaries is with the approval of the President. Once the nominations come from the two ministers and some stakeholders according to geopolitical zones, they will now send it to security details for background checks.

"It is after this that they will now take it back for the final approval by the President. So, as i speak to you now, i don't know whether it is still on Mr. President's desk, because i don't think a minister of the FCT will singlehandedly withold the inauguration of mandate secretaries if the approval has been given.

 "That office you are seeing is a delegated responsibility of Mr. President. So, i don't think he can do it as in, i must sit on it because he must be in due consultation with Mr. President, that am sure of.

" I don't know the stage it is now because it's like the appointment of Ministers, they can be nominated, screened and confirmed but then the Presidency still reserves the right to communicate them that they have been appointed as ministers but their inauguration will be on so so date"

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