FG won’t scrap character commission -Arabi

The Federal Government has said that it is not desirable to scrap the Federal Character Commission (FCC) due to its relevance to the nation’s unity and national development.

The Director-General Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki I. Arabi, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at this month’s BPSR Lunch Time Seminar (LTS).

The forum was themed, “Integrating Strategic Partnership with Critical Stakeholders and Advocacy on Balance Development and Employment in Nigeria”.

“The FCC should remain. The law establishing the commission may be amended to streamline its operations, separate powers of the executive secretary and chairman, other commissioners,” Arabi said.

He also said that the focus of the work should be on ensuring equitable distribution of projects and representations, while the standard for employment and engagement must remain high.

He said that the theme was chosen due to its relevance in view of the dynamism of Nigeria as a nation and the crucial role that Strategic Partnership and Balance Development (SPBD) plays in the employment and recruitment process in Nigeria.

He said, “In order to attain rapid economic development, Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) and Balanced Regional Development are considered as important pre-requisite, as the overall progress of the entire economy depends upon the balanced development of all regions of a country.

“While SPI provides a way for federating units to coordinate their efforts, reduce administrative burden and pool resources in support of Federal Government process, balanced regional development is very much important for promoting and securing large employment opportunities in a developing country like Nigeria.”

He also said that to achieve a balance development, a principle of representation in which recruitment, enlightenment and distribution of other state resource aimed at establishing a fair balance of ethnic and regional representation in all federal government agencies and parastatals was introduced, known as the Federal Character Principle to be implemented by the Federal Character Commission (FCC).

Arabi noted that one of the FCC’s duty is to work out an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the President, for the distribution of all cadres of posts in the civil and public service of the Federation and of the State, the armed forces, the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies, bodies corporate owned by the federal or a State Government and Extra-Ministerial Departments and parastatals of the Federation and States.

Delivering the keynote, the Executive Chairman, FCC, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, said that the development of a country wholly depends on the availability of its infrastructural facilities because they play a vital role in the improvement of the country’s standard of living and contributing to a higher rate of economic growth.

Represented by her Special Adviser, Mr. D. O. Fakeye, the FCC Chairman said that infrastructures are basic essential services that should be put in place to enable development to occur.

She noted that the government through its agencies initiate projects and programs to improve the quality of the people’s life, be it those in urban or rural areas.

She said that there is a huge gap between the population living in the urban and rural areas, such as geographical, educational, income, gender, ages, as well as language and race gaps some of which are needed to be bridged to avoid cries of marginalization and neglect.

She said, “In order to achieve the objective of balanced development, the FCC was established to close infrastructure and employment gaps such that no part of the country feels neglected, deprived or marginalized.

She, therefore urged all Nigerians to deepen their patriotism and help the commission to achieve its mandate in the interest of national development.

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