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What You Never Knew About Federal Character Commission-a Toothless Commssion

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Platemoney
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PostPlatemoney on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 10:00 am

[quote author=Built2last post=47491927]
This commission is headed by Shetimma Abba and despite the lop-sidedness of appointments in ministries and agencies has remained mute.



The Commission was established to give effect to Section 14)3) and (4) of the Constitution which provides as follows:
14(3) “The Composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to effect the federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote National unity, and also command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies’.
14(4) “The composition of the Government of a State, a Local Government council, or any of the agencies of such government or Council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manners as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation”.
The (Act) establishing the Commission, detailing its membership, functions,
financial provisions, etc; is reproduced as follows.


The Commission shall ensure:

(i) that all fresh recruitments into the Public Service nationwide comply with the Commission Guidelines and Formulae on Equitable Distribution of Posts;
(ii) that the best and most competent candidates from each federating units nationwide are employed to fill vacant positions meant for indigenes of such units. For this purpose, the Commission shall ensure that employers of labour in the Public Service introduce and adhere to an open competitive selection process aimed at recruiting the best candidates available;
(iii) that henceforth, distribution of public service investments in socio-economic amenities and infrastructural facilities shall be done in a fair and equitable manner such that each federating unit nationwide is adequately catered for, provided that the proposed guidelines on this aspect are promptly approved by the appropriate authorities.
(iv) the receipt, analysis and publication of up-to-date manpower statistics of all Federal Government ministries, agencies and parastatals by December 31, each year.
(v) regular periodic update of the manpower statistics of Federal Government ministries, agencies and parastatals and be made easily accessible on the website.
(vi) that it provides, within five working days of the receipt of a written request by any member of the public, any information on manpower statistics relating to any Federal Government ministry, agency or parastatal which are not available on the website provided such information are not classified.
(vii) that it reduces by at least 20%, the margin of existing imbalances in the level of representation of the federating units in government ministries, agencies and parastatals by July, 2019, provided the embargo on recruitment into the public service is lifted.
(viii) that each state of the Federation and the FCT, respectively attain not less than the statutory 2.5% and 1.0% representation in the manpower distribution of each of the Federal Government ministries, agencies and parastatals by 2020.
(ix) that upon receipt and registration of any petition at its Head Office, the Commission shall within five working days, acknowledge receipt and refer same to the relevant department or state office in appropriate cases for investigation.
(x) that where a petition was submitted at any state office of the Commission and the state office is of the view that the subject matter is one which should be handled by the Head Office, it shall transmit the petition to the Head Office within one week of the date of receipt.
(xi) that where a petition discloses a prima facie case of violation of the Guidelines and Formulae, it shall within three weeks forward a copy of the petition to the offending agency for its reaction.
(xii) that the requisite enforcement machinery is set in motion within two months of the receipt of the reaction of the offending agency.
(xiii) that within three months from the date of conclusion of investigations, it sets in motion, machinery for prosecution of defaulters of the Federal Character Guidelines and Formulae and may, in appropriate cases give defaulters an opportunity to make amends.
(xiv) that within one week of conclusion of investigations, it notifies the petitioner of the outcome.



Functions of the Commission

(1) The functions of the Commission shall be:-
(a) 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;
(b) to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government;

(c) to take such legal measures including the prosecution of the heads or staff of any Ministry, Extra-Ministerial department or agency which fails to comply with any federal character principle or for a prescribed or adopted by the Commission;

(d) to workout
(i) an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the president, for distribution of socio-economic services, amenities and infrastructural facilities;
(ii) modalities and schemes, subject to the approval of the President, for redressing the problem of imbalances and reducing the fear of relative deprivation and marginalization in the Nigerian system of federalism as it obtains in the public and private sectors;
(e) to intervene in the operation of any agency of the federal Government, subject to the approval of the President, where in the opinion of the Commission the function of the agency concerned is relevant to the functions of the commission and the Commission is of the opinion that it is not being effectively implemented;
(f) to advise the Federal State, and local government to intervene and influence providers of services, goods and socio-economic amenities to extend such services, goods and socio-economic amenities to deprived areas of the country;
(g) to ensure that all Ministries and Extra-Ministerial departments, agencies and other bodies affected by this act have a clear criteria indicating conditions to be fulfilled and comprehensive guidelines on the procedure for-
(i) determining eligibility and the procedure for employment in the public private sectors of the economy;
(ii) the provision of social services goods and socio-economic amenities in Nigeria;
(h) to ensure that public officers shall, in the performance of their functions, adhere strictly to rules and regulations made pursuant to this Act;
i. to advise the federal Government of Nigeria on the structure and rationalization of any Ministry, extra-ministerial department or agency; and
(f) carry out such other functions as the President shall, from time to time, assign to it.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt:-
(a) the posts mentioned in paragraphs (a0 and (b) of subsection (10 of this section shall include those of the Permanent secretary in the Civil Service of the federation or the State Civil Service, Directors-General in extra-Ministerial Departments and Parastatals, Directors in ministries and Extra-Ministerial Departments, senior Military Officers, senior Diplomatic Posts, Managerial Cadres in the Federal and State Parastatals, Bodies Corporate, Agencies and institutions; and
(b) socio-economic services, amenities and facilities mentioned in paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of this section include those in the sectors of education, electricity, transport and youth development.
(3) Any person who fails to comply with the guidelines issued under paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of this section is guilty of an offence under this Act and liable to penalties specified in section 15 (1) of this act.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision in any other law or enactment, the Commission shall ensure that every public company or corporation reflects the federal character in the appointment of its directors and senior management staff


THE POWER OF THE COMMISSION
The commission shall have power to:-
(a) formulate and provide guidelines for Government agencies and other employers and providers of service and socio-economic amenities;

(b) monitor compliance with the guidelines and formulae at Federal, State, local governments and Zonal levels in the employment and provision of socio-economic amenities;
(c) enforce compliance with guidelines and formulae in areas of the provision of employment opportunities, distribution of infrastructural facilities, socio-economic amenities and other indices;
(d) compel boards of directors of Government-owned companies and other enterprises, which are subject to the provisions of this Act, to comply with the guidelines and formulae on ownership structure, employment and distribution of their products;
(e) demand and receive returns on employment and socio-economic indices from any enterprise or body corporate and penalize any enterprise which does not comply with a request from the Commission;
(f) undertake the recruitment and training of staff of government agencies or departments where desirable;
(g) institute investigation into any matter relating to any institution or organization which is subject to the provision of this Act and if the institution or organization concerned fails to cooperate with the commission, the institution or organization shall be required to bear the cost of such investigation; and
(h) do anything which in the opinion of the Commission is incidental to its functions under this Act.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the Commission shall have power to take such legal action including the prosecution of any person, whether corporate or unincorporated who, being obliged to comply with the provisions of this Act, fails to do so.

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