Gentlemen of the Press,
It is with great honour that we welcome you to this press briefing. Please permit us to apologies for the late invitation.
For some days, the Commission was brought to the public domain through allegations ad counter allegations on issues ranging from rule of law, due process, guidelines and extant Circulars. With due respect, the allegations have been written without thorough understanding by the petitioners on the workings of Government and the guiding rules governing it.
As you are aware the 5th Board of the Commission assumed office in July, 2020 after inauguration by Mr. President. His directive was clear “Ensure you uphold the tenets of fairness, justice and equity. This has been the guiding principle as encapsulated in the FCC Establishment Act.
Gentlemen of the Press, just barely after they have settled down trying to understand the nitty-gritty, the Commission was confronted with divergent views on how it would be run.
For the benefit of Nigerians and as responsible public servants, we feel deeply concerned to respond to the issue raised and lay the facts bare as follows:-
- Duty Tour Allowance
Response: It is quite important to note here that the running cost being released to the Commission is hardly sufficient to fund its monthly activities at the Headquarters as well as State Offices.
Consequently, a special request for grant for monitoring exercises for the Commission was made by management to government for improved funding.
We are therefore happy to announce that there is a positive response in that direction which has been embedded in 2021 budget.
2. Issues: Disbursement of monthly running cost:
Response: The monthly running cost are usually not released regularly, however when received, the money is usually expended for outsourced services which included, payment of salaries for Adhoc Staff, cleaners, Covid-19 related expenses, stationery items and other matters. As we speak, the Commission is in arrears of debt which hopefully will be offset in the next release of funds.
3. Issues: Award of contract for
Response: The Commission and indeed Nigeria runs an Economic Growth recovery Plan (EGRP). Therefore, the issue of the alleged 35million naira is part of the rolling plan that commenced in 2018 for which a release was expected in 2019.
Infact, this was before the new Chairman resumed. Our books are open and anyone in doubt can take the liberty of cross checking these facts.
4. Issues: Stepping down of contracts:
Response: The contracts for 2020 were duly advertised, bids received and analysed. The MTB observed some irregularities in some of the bids and therefore could not reach any decision. The bids had to be stepped down for proper analysis before the contracts could be awarded.
5. Issues: Waivers not to advertise.
Response: On the issue of waivers, it is pertinent to understand the word ‘WAIVER’ and how they are issued based on two criteria.
- Waivers are issued to MDAs where the staff to be recruited are too few and not deserving of a newspaper advert.
- Waivers are issued for exigency reasons such as requests from the Health Sectors at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- They are issued not to advertise but following all other processes on recruitment.
6. Issue: Recruitment of Staff
Response: On assumption of office of the 5th Board of the Commission in July, 2020, they observed that recruitment took place without due process and therefore it was cancelled.
Gentlemen of the Press, we have tried to respond to all these allegations that were trending because we are greatly affected by the negative publicity.
Thank you and God bless.
Mr. Vincent Onobun
Director Public Affairs & Communication