Several departments and agencies across the various federal ministries in the country are without substantive chief executives as many whose tenures have ended refuse to vacate while many others are left in acting capacity for months.

This development is presently causing internal bickering and bad blood leading to open insubordination and acrimony in the Federal system, so much so that many are wondering whose responsibility it is to instil
discipline and effect postings in the nation?s public service.

A former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service had refused to vacate his office at the end of his tenure. Instead, the man kept reporting to his office and this dragged on for months. At a point, some of the senior management members of the Service began to treat him with disdain and even contempt. They would refuse to attend
to files from him but would rather apply diplomatic insubordination by directing officers under them to Keep-in -View (KIV) the matter, while they waited the government to direct him to leave the place. The
Comptroller General was eventually made to leave the office when the case created serious controversy in the media.

The same scenario is said to be playing out presently at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Pension Commission and several other federal
government agencies.

For the NSCDC where issues bothering on employment racketeering has taken centre stage in recent times, there are allegations that the Commandant General of the organisation has overstayed his tenure by
some months now. Insider sources say that most top management officers of the Corps are piqued that the Federal Government has allowed the situation to linger this much. One of the sources in the organisation
hinted that officers and men of the Corps are afraid to even discuss the tenure of the Commandant General because they cannot say whether they man was appointed as a life head of the organisation.

?Nobody knows how long his appointment was meant to last but what is obvious is that the CG has stayed here far longer than what is normal in the country. If it is on civil service bases,? the source who begged not to be named said.

In the Nigerian civil service rules, heads of departments and agencies are appointed for four years which can be renewed for another four years If the government so wishes. For some other areas like military and paramilitary agencies, tenure of chief executive officers usually terminates after five years.

There is also the case of the PTDF where the Executive Secretary Engr. Muttapha Rabe Darma had to stay for over one month after the expiration of his tenure. He was uncertain whether or not his appointment would be renewed by the Presidency. While he waited, some senior officers of the Fund began to play monkey games with him until
he finally sneaked out of the organisation.

A top officer of PTDF said concerning the manner in which the former executive secretary of PTDF left the Fund. ?Presently, PTDF has no substantive chief executive. Government just asked someone to oversee
the affairs of the Fund, and I can tell you that everything is just stagnant in the system because the person sitting there is neither here nor there. We are just sitting and waiting.?

The PTDF scenario is also playing out in the nation?s Pension Commission (PENCOM). A senior management officer of PENCOM was directed to oversee the affairs of the organisation and. If the attitude of Nigerian government is anything to go by, then you can be sure that these overseers may be there for some months, if not years
to come.

Apart from sit- tight chief executives, there are many departments and agencies with Director Generals who were duly appointed in acting capacity but have been in that position for years.

Nigerian civil service says those appointed in acting capacities would have to serve for a maximum of six months when they are expected to be confirmed in the position. A source in one ministry told Daily Times that some ministers prefer to work with chief executive officers in acting capacity and would do anything possible to see that they are not confirmed. The source said when chief executive officers are left in acting capacity, they would
remain subservient to ministers because of fear that they may be thrown out of the place.

?When appointees are confirmed, they tend to have confidence and minds of their own because they have instrument of authority to act. Ministers don?t like this situation. So they prefer working with those in acting capacity because they can then dictate to them what to do with the finances of the organisation. Most ministers would make
negative recommendations if they are asked to do so concerning those under them who are in acting capacities,? the source said.

?More than 10 federal agencies are said to have such acting chief executives. Most of the affected acting chief executives officers who rose through the ranks which would ordinarily make it easier for them to be confirmed but vested interests wouldn?t even let the authorities know that such positions exist,? the source said.

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