Reps tackle Buhari over absence of parastatals, agencies’ boards

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It was gathered that the House of Representatives has described as “highly detrimental to the country’s economy,” failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint boards for government agencies.

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The federal lawmakers said Buhari’s continued delay in appointing heads of boards points to the president wanting to govern the country alone.

In adopting a motion on the “Urgent need to Re-constitute the Boards of Parastatals and Agencies in Order to hasten Good Governance”, sponsored by Abdullahi Umar Faruk, the chamber called on the president to appoint boards for parastatals as soon as possible.

Faruk, in the lead debate noted that Section 5 (1) (a) of the Constitution vests executive powers o in the President which he can exercise either directly or through his deputy and ministers or officers in the public service. He said the president has failed to use that power to appoint boards for parastatals.

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Speaking in support of the motion, Toby Okechukwu who said it was disappointing that even with talk of getting the country out of economic recession, boards of key agencies had not been inaugurated, further posited that the current situation amounted to “us abiding by the rule of man instead of the rule of law”.

On her part Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje maintained that  the delay in appointing new boards amounted to subverting the country’s laws as some of the affected agencies were established by Acts of parliament.

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Also contributing to the debate, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor said, “this is one motion that calls for good governance. It is a motion that tells the president, ‘you cannot do everything alone”.

Edward Pwajok expressed dismay over the current situation and reminded his colleagues that the president’s wife, Aisha had voiced her displeasure over Buhari’s procrastination with regard to board appointments. Pwajok equally added that Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), David Lawal Babachir should be questioned on why appointments were being given to those who rejected them, when there are many qualified individuals eager to serve the country.

Suspecting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had hijacked the debate, Sadiq Ibrahim accused those who supported the motion of having different “intentions and motives” from the sponsor who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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His position led to a sharp response from Ogor, who demanded that the statement be withdrawn. It took Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s intervention to get Ibrahim to withdraw his statement, even as Ibrahim insisted that some government parastatals have not lived up to expectation and that the president had to take his time in appointing those who will supervise the agencies.  Dogara asked the Committee on Governmental Affairs to ensure implementation and revert back within four weeks.

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