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SERAP urges Buhari to withdraw board appointments

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Wants civil service to handle task
A Lagos-based group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the list of appointments to the boards of agencies and parastatals.

The advice followed the recent discovery of names of eight dead persons in the list.

According to SERAP, the withdrawal will remove the danger to the integrity of the boards, and allow the civil service to make the appointments in strict conformity with established rules and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations and commitments.

The group’s Deputy Director,  Timothy Adewale, in a statement yesterday said: ‘Appointing at least eight dead people as board members would seem to suggest that the 1,467 appointments approved by Buhari were unscreened for competence, merit, equity, aptitude and conflicts of interest.
 
“Going ahead with these appointments would neither advance due process nor Buhari’s oft-expressed commitment to prevent and combat corruption but create a lack of trust and confidence among the general public.”

According to SERAP, taking partisan politics out of the appointments to boards of agencies and parastatals is one surest way for Buhari to show that his government is truly one of change, that would do things differently from successive governments that apparently handed out such appointments to reward party members, supporters and cronies.

Nigeria has ratified the convention. It is absolutely important for Buhari to ensure that the process through which board appointments are made is transparent and merit-based. A merit-appointment system would produce a better qualified board, and ultimately improve the governance architecture and access of Nigerians to essential public services. It should be the practice of this government to make board appointments on the basis of ability, and not political influence or connection.”
 
President Buhari had on Friday approved the constitution of the governing boards of agencies and parastatals, appointing 209 chairmen and 1258 members to fill the positions.


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