At least 14 federal agencies and departments are being managed by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in interim and acting capacities. Findings showed that about 70 per cent of the acting CEOs have been in their positions for over eight months, in contravention of public service laws, which prescribe just three months.
Also, investigation showed that majority or all the agencies headed by Acting chief executives are almost not functioning. Our sources indicated that the longest serving of the Acting CEOs are Kabiru Mashi of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Musa Maiyaki, the Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) We also discovered that the scourge which is attributable to “the inability of the government to take decisions is a problem to efficiency in the system as the interim CEOs never take any serious decisions because they have their limitations.
“While many of them have extents to which they can handle the agencies, most in a bid to get confirmed remain just figure heads that only play politics of recognition to be sure they don’t lose out at last,” a source said. Another source, a retired federal director, who served in education, power and agriculture, said: “The trend is the shortest process to mismanagement and under-management of the agencies and departments. It has been a tradition that in the past bred acrimony.
I remember that between Abacha and Abdusalami’s regimes, there were about two directors who were appointed acting directors-general in their offices. They were there for as long as two years and eventually were not confirmed. They found it impossible to return to their offices and be answerable to the new chief executives. They simply resigned.” The sources also noted that the laws on management of agencies are against a CEO remaining in acting capacity for more than three months.
“The rule is that the maximum a chief executive can act according to the statutes, is three months. After that duration, the CEO should be confirmed or dropped. But we have a common situation where officers remain in interim capacity for even years and not confirmed or removed.
"It is against the rule of public or civil service and something needs to be done because these things weigh down activities of the involved agencies and also breeds corruption because the Acting CEOs while unsure of their future, resort to impunity and saving for their termination.
A lot of things have gone wrong through that and it should be stopped.” The sources also cited instances “where the Minister of Power was replaced six months after Prof. Barth Nnaji resigned. Till now, I am not sure we have a substantive Defence Minister after the President removed Dr. Bello Mohammed in June last year.
It is the Minister of State who has her limits and capabilities that has been running the ministry in the past nine months. Some of the acting CEOs in various agencies include Kabiru Mashi (FIRS) who had been there since the former CEO left last April and Abdulrahman Sambo of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHS) among many others.