By Ibidapo Balogun
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has decried the reported allegations of last-minute looting of the nation’s resources, hurried recruitment into the public service and rushed privatization of key financial institutions by the outgoing Jonathan administration, warning that such egregious actions will have serious repercussions.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said apart from the instances of such cases that have been reported by the local media, it has been inundated with calls and messages by concerned Nigerians, alerting it to the unscrupulous actions of some Jonathan Administration officials.
It said while the Jonathan Administration remains in office till midnight of May 28th and governance in the country will not stop because a new President has been elected, it is incumbent upon the outgoing administration not to create any more problems for the incoming government than it had already done, or to tie the new government’s hands through some suspicious actions.
APC said while it is true that the incoming Buhari Administration will not get itself bogged down by an endless probe of the activities of the Jonathan Administration, all actions taken since the result of the May 28th presidential election was announced may come under the searchlight.
”For example, the National Council on Privatization, which is headed by the Vice President, has just approved the financial bid opening for transaction advisers for the privatization of the three Development Finance Institutions in the country – the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry and Nigeria Commodity Exchange. The question is: What is the rationale for rushing this exercise with just weeks left for this administration?
”Also, there have been reports, yet un-refuted, of a planned hurried recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service, after a previous attempt ended in a national tragedy and the fleecing of innocent jobseekers by mindless federal government officials. Apart from the fact that this last-minute recruitment is suspect, it is irregular.
”The Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPSB) is only empowered to recruit, promote and discipline only senior officers (levels 8 and above). The power to recruit, promote and discipline junior officers is vested in the different services, in this case the Nigeria Immigration Service.
”Therefore, the recruitment exercise now being conducted by the Federal Civil Service under the auspices of the Presidential Committee to Assist on Immigration Recruitment usurps the functions of the Board as it relates to recruitment of Senior Officers (level 08) and that of the Immigration Service as it relates to Junior Officers (levels 07 and below),” the party said.
It also called attention to a published report that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, plans to use the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to carry out a secret employment of no fewer than 500 workers before the end of April 2015.
”We do not know if this report, as well as others, is true. But if indeed these rushed privatizations and hurried recruitment exercises – in the twilight of the Jonathan Administration – are true, they raise serious questions concerning the reasons behind such actions. We are therefore compelled to call on President Jonathan to call his Administration officials to order, lest they engage in actions that can later embarrass his Administration
”This is against the backdrop of the precarious situation into which the Jonathan Administration has plunged the nation’s economy, no thanks to years of ceaseless and unprecedented profligacy by the outgoing Administration, as well as mind-boggling acts of corruption and looting of the public treasury by some Administration officials and their collaborators,” APC said.