By Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Federal Character Commission’s Acting Executive Chairman, Dr Shettima Bukar Abba, has said that the Commission, since its establishment, has adopted a “sharing formula” of allotting posts in public service by which there policy and guidelines was that each state of the federation should produce not less than 2.5 percent and not more than 3 percent, while the FCT shall produce 1 percent.
Dr Abba disclosed this on Tuesday, during an interactive meeting with federal and state MDAs at the instance of the state Civil Service Commission and Head of Civil Service, Plateau State.
He said, the Federal Character guidelines and procedures on recruitment is crystal clear, in that both the 1999 constitution and the Federal Character Commission Enabling Act was emphatic of ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of posts in the public service throughout the federation among the indigenes of the various states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to Dr Abba, the Commission was also to ensure an equitable distribution of social service economic amenities and infrastructural facilities among the federating units throughout the federation.
He expressed worry over the way and manner plateau state indigenes are being shortchanged in recruitment, particularly the junior staff, by the Federal Agencies.
The Acting Chairman believes that, “the interaction is timely and of great significance as the word, ‘marginalization,’ has become a recurring decimal in our national discourse,” and noted that “every segment state and region is, today, agitating on the spread of national assets and, therefore, is strategizing to work and get its own fair share.”
He also observed that, “over the years, aggrieved individuals, groups, communities and even states have had cause to complain about their dissatisfaction with the procedures for recruitment in MDAs.
Dr Abba was of the opinion that, the reports of what he termed as “lopsided representation” in MDAs, preponderance of a stock of people over others and the problem of settler/indigenes acrimony, including communities’ insistence on deciding who occupies what in an institution located in their areas, has remained a recurring decimal.
According to him, “we are addressing such concern and tackling it head-long, and we seek for the understanding of stakeholders that, ours is a material enterprise and we expect everyone to cue in.”
At the same time, he gave warning to all MDAs, especially the federal MDAs, that the Commission would come hard on any MDA, who circumvents the procedure for recruitment, adding that, the Federal Character policy on “catchment areas” remains operational.
“The policy mandated all federal MDAs to recruit 70 percent of its junior staff from the catchment areas of location, with emphasis to the state where the institution is sited.”
He said he has directed a constitution of a monitoring squad to take statistics of all junior staff in the Federal MDAs for sanctioning.
Accordingly, he said, the local government should be equitably represented in the state services and appointments, which the formula for sharing and distribution of posts among the local government areas of the state shall be a minimum of 4 percent and a maximum of 7 percent representation.
“If the sharing is on the basis of senatorial district as appropriate, it would be percentage range of between 30 and 35 percent.”
Speaking earlier, chairman of the Plateau State Civil Service Commission, Chief Dagut G. Fompun, said “the relationship between plateau state and the various federal government agencies operating in the state is a vehicle for smoothing the implementation of the Federal Character principles as well as promoting a mutual beneficial relationship that would serve as a ‘lubricant in the wheel of synergy’ that would facilitate the provision of effective service delivery to our diverse people.”