By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – In contrast to the idea of ethnic marginalisation held among people of the South-East region, the Acting Executive-Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba, has said marginalisation in federal appointments is a cankerworm affecting every tribe in the country and not just the Igbo.
He said this while addressing journalists in his office on Wednesday.
According to him, if an accurate data of all public and civil servants across the federation is collected and collated through a process that requires minimal human interference or influence, it will be noticed that members of a particular ethnic group or state dominate particular federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) either as decision makers or staffs.
“Some groups are talking about marginalization in federal appointments but if you look at the Federal Character strictly and contextualize it in particular MDAs, there is no state or tribe which is not marginalised.
“For instance, if you look at all the appointments in Federal University, Ebonyi and analyze them in the light of equal representation of the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, you will definitely find out that some states are not represented within the institution’s workforce.
“You will find the same thing if you go to Kano or Jigawa. So, it tells you that every state and tribe is marginalized in one way or the other.
“But what the law says is that there should not be a predominance of any state or ethnic group in within federal MDAs in the country,” Dr. Abba said.
He blamed the lopsidedness and imbalances in federal appointments on the submission of incomplete nominal rolls to the Commission by MDAs.
According to him, the problem of incomplete or late nominal roll submissions makes it impossible for the Commission to advise MDAs or the Presidency on how to go about employing workers or appointing public servants in the way and manner the Federal Character Commission laws prescribe.
“That means we need to see and analyze the nominal rolls and identify states of the federation not represented or under-represented in particular MDAs before we can advise properly,” he said
On how the federal government plans to address the perceived lopsidedness and imbalances in the deployment of human resources across federal MDAs, he said the Presidency, through the Federal Character Commission, is organizing a compulsory training programme in Abuja for Desk Officers across all MDAs between October 9th and 24th to teach them how to update their nominal rolls in real time and on a monthly basis using the Commission’s portal.
He said this will enable the Commission give proffer relevant advice that will address the problem of marginalisation before federal appointments and recruitments are made.
“The training is mandatory. It is an offence if the Federal Character Commission asks an MDA for information or participation in a particular activity to enable it fulfill the requirements of the law considering the diverse nature of our population and the MDA refuses to cooperate.
“The training of Desk Officers is very important because we also want to have a uniform format of receiving the nominal rolls from them through our own portal.
“I want to add that such trainings will avail us to get a direct statistics of what is required to address marginalization.
“By the time we address this issue of inaccurate data collection through the training of Desk Officers on the correct format for filing their nominal rolls, we can focus on data analysis and determination of ways to address the imbalances,” Abba said.
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