The New NASRDA and Reforms in Its Employment Policy

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Due to its recent indictments by the science and technology committee of the Federal Character Commission regarding violations in the laid down procedure for employments and appointments by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has undertaken a holistic reform of the employment guidelines of the agency that has made the agency one of the most federal character employment procedure complaint agencies in Nigeria today.

Today, due to the reforms introduced by its management led by reformist director-general, Dr Halilu Ahmad Shaba, the agency has not carried out any unadvertised employments as it is required by the Federal Character Commission’s employment procedure whereby all MDA’s are required to advertise in at least two national dailies. It is also not now in violations of the procedural requirement whereby the national dailies must be one that is widely read in the northern and southern regions of the country.

Due to the reforms on employment strictly enforced by the new management of the agency led by Dr. Shaba, it is now mandatory for the agency to also comply with the FCC procedural guidelines that also stipulates that where there is only a small number of available vacancies, the agency must now make recourse to the FCC as the institution recognised by our laws to get a waiver to employ in this regard. The waiver is just for advertisement only and this to permit the agency not to advertise since each state is represented adequately in the agency by a commissioner who can urgently harvest for qualified candidate from each state using the alternative medium of a local radio and this must be done without compromising merit.

Prior to the appointment of the present leadership of the NASRDA ably led by Dr. Shaba, it was found out that the agency has consistently violated the employment rules of the federal character commission by going ahead with recruitments of several applicants into the employment of the agency without adhering to the proper procedure, which entails either advertising in the newspapers or dailies or requesting for a waiver from the commission.

The most talked about instances of the agencies violations of the federal character commission procedure was the employment of 150 people into the agency’s employment without adhering to this laid down procedures in 2018. This led to a disgraceful sanction on the agency as a result of this gross violations which occurred when the present leadership have not been appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The sanction led to the declaration of that recruitment exercise been declared null and void by the federal character commission in fulfilments of its constitutionally assigned responsibilities as the agency of note sanctioning such violations.

Since his assuming of office as the director-general of the NASRDA, Dr. Shaba, who unfortunately was not the one in the agency’s leadership saddle when the violations was carried out, has consistently expressed his frustration at the faulty process which took place before his appointment as the DG NASRDA and the concommitant effect the illegal recruitments as it has consistently at that time not been allowed to concentrate on carrying out his administrative duties as the agency was always dragged to court on this regard.

The DG was on record to have spared no effort by at that time ensuring that the federal character commission intervening and assisting his administration in coming out of the administrative saga that was then experienced by the agency and going forward promising a reforms that would in good faith lead to the avoidance of the repeat of such violations by NASRDA which he heads.

As part of his reform programmes on employments into the agency, it is now mandatory that a thorough analysis of state by state nominal roles of it’s directorate to enable it analyse it’s staffs strength and periodically declaring it to the the ombudsman for appointment related issues in the country so that going forward, the agency would avoid any infractions on the FCC’s laid procedures and templates for its employment related activities.

The director-general has also established a public relations department and a press centre to sensitise the indigene of states catchment areas of the benefitting states, in order to avoid a lot of such petitions against the agency in the future of it’s new policies on employments.

The reforms introduced by the DG which entails periodical data gathering on staff on its employments has indispensable become a veritable tool for the equitable application of the federal character principle on employments at NASRDA. He has also in the process of reforms organised yearly a one day in-house training for senior officers in the agency’s department of personnel management on the importance of the deployments of technological tools of data gathering to implement the principles of equitable and fair implementation of the federal character procedures on its employment related issues at all time and this has really changed the agency’s narratives in this regard.

The agency now gives the FCC periodic returns on employment indices even though it has not carried out any employment since the appointment of its present leadership by the president. This submissions to the FCC has enabled it carried out a well informed assessments of the NASRDA’s compliance level, comparison improvements, reviews of options, evaluation of approaches and analyses of its given patterns or observations of the agency’s staff distributions. This is because Dr Shaba believe it would help the agency to proactively improve its lease of life through its analysed data that is been extracted from relevant transactions gathered specifically and experimentally for these purposes.

This data is today been used in promoting, monitoring and enforcing compliances in the agency by the FCC and since then it has not been found wanting of violating or infracting on the federal character commission laid out procedures on employments which has today led to the accolades been received by the agency as one of the FCC complaint agencies of the employment procedures in the country, thanks to the management reforms led by its DG. Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba.

– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.

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