One of the issues militated against the development of many agencies in the country today is the absence of capable leaderships that are ready to take the bull by the horn by introducing reforms to clear the debris militating against the performance of their institutional mandates. This is true about the Federal Character Commission (FCC) before the appointment and inauguration of the present leadership led by the reformist, Dr Muheeba Dankaka.
The federal character commission (FCC) was established to close the infrastructural and employment gaps witnessed in the country in such a way that no part of the federation feels neglected, deprived or marginalized. In order to achieve this set objectives of balanced development, our country indeed needed a strong institution that is strong enough and equipped with all enabling laws needed to implement the mandates of this important commission.
No country that seeks development and peace toys with its unity and that is why the federal character commission is regarded by many as one of the most important national agency that safeguards our unity in diversity.
Section 4(1)/d of the FCC establishment act of the national assembly gives the commission some numbers of powers to enable it close the identified goals.
Many analyst have before now come to the conclusion that the problems we have hitherto have in the promotion of our national unity in diversity is not the absence of enabling laws that would preserve our unity as a country but the lack of the requisite institutional capacity and leadership know how in the federal character commission ready to reform itself internally to overcome its shortcomings in the oversight and implementation of the FCC laws to the letter.
Considering the importance and relevance of the FCC and in view of the numerous cries of unequal distribution of appointments, economic incentives, projects and above all recruitments into the federal civil service, the present management of the federal character commission concluded that it’s reforms of the federal character principle must begin from within.
The internal reforms was first targeted at reforming its public affairs department to be more efficient in educating Nigerians on the challenges faced by the commission in carrying out it’s mandates and it’s new ways of implementing reforms to meet this challenges head on.
Considering the fact that the mandate of the commission is to achieve a balance development of all zones and regions of the country, the principle of representation in which recruitments and the distributions of states resources aimed at establishments of this balance and fairness in ethnic and regional representation in all federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) now been taken seriously by the commission as against in the past where anything goes without the requisite sanctions.
The importance of this internal reforms cannot be overemphasized and this reforms are in order to implement policies in this direction that would lead to the attainments by our country a rapid economic development with federal character as the impetus. This is because of the roles balanced regional development plays as an important prerequisite to the achievements of our national goals and this is because the overall progress of our national economy depends on the balanced developments of all zones and regions in the country.
This internal reformatory moves by the chairman of the commission is to once and for all aimed at removing the legal and administrative constraints and the political tendencies that has plagued the smooth operation of the commission as an institution charged with the redressing the imbalances in the country.
The creation of a strong and centralized monitoring and evaluation department at the commission headquarters that monitors and redress infractions spotted in the distribution of opportunities with administrative speed has today made the FCC indeed a strong institution that barks and bites. The commission now holds a regular plenary and this consists of all the commissioners representing their states as required by its enabling laws and this has made the commission to be alive to its responsibilities and this is a clear departure from the past practices when the plenary is just looked upon as a ritual that gives effects to nothing. The plenaries since the reforms gives prompt standing orders and sanctions any erring departments and agencies and issues prompt certificate of compliance to deserving governmental departments.
It is now on record that since the appiontment of Dr Muheeba Dankaka as the chairman of the commission, there is a departure from the old procedural methods where people see the FCC as a recruiter or dispenser of jobs. This is because through its enlightenment programmes this narratives has changed as the sense of justice and confidence among the general public that the new FCC with strong and reliable operational readiness has been birthed given our country the strong impetus needed to redress its unity.
The operational committees are now operational as their former usurped roles have been restored to deal with the arbitrariness and recklessness by the MDA’s which is the key factors in the non-compliance on the part of the MDAs and this has effectively led to stoppages in the lopsided conferment of benefits and nepotism consequently.
– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.