By Joshua Tasie
The President of the group, Comrade Ogakwu Dominic, the President of the Civil Society Group for Good Governance has said the selection of who will become the next Accountant-General of the federation must be chosen on merit.
In a statement made available to Newsmen on Friday, he de-emphasisee the sole use of examination as the major determinant for recruiting the Accountant General of the Federation.
Ogakwu stated that given the pivotal and influential functions of the office of the AGF on our national economy, the rigorous screening process must be merit-based, focusing on credentials, past and present work experience, competence, capacity and character and nothing short of viz-a-viz the principles of Accountability, Integrity and Transparency.
The group said; “This press conference is sequel to an earlier one a fortnight ago. It is imperative that this briefing is put in proper context as a corollary to underscore the civil society’s interest in the unfolding drama surrounding the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
“As Civil Society Organization, our position is that the rigorous screening process must be merit-based, focusing on credentials, past and present work experience, competence, capacity and character viz-a-viz the principles of Accountability, Integrity and Transparency (AIT). At the end, five (5) out of the most qualified candidates should emerge, one out of which can then be appointed as Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
“The crux of the matter is that we want the screening process to de-emphasize the obsolete use of examination as the major determinant for recruiting the Accountant General of the Federation, given the pivotal and influential functions of the office on our national economy. After all, it is now visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that examination is not the true test of knowledge – a cursory look at some public stewards in offices today lends credence to this fact.
“Let it be on record that, the position of the CSOs is premised on a trending allegation that the former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris who is currently standing trial for corruption, embezzlement and looting of the Federation’s treasury to the tune of N109 billion did pay handsomely during his screening examination, thereby procuring the position of AGF like some commodity at a trade fair which was auctioned to the highest bidder. Is it therefore any wonder that the man spent his days in office frantically recouping his “investments” and repaying his “investors” who facilitated his fraudulent emergence as AGF through the corrupt screening examination?
“Therefore, the next Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), must be dynamic and versatile in both private and public sector financial managements and must be diplomatic and skilful in interpersonal relationships, to enable him or her to proactively navigate and outmanoeuvre the entrenched bureaucracy which is plaguing our public service system, in order to deliver the goods of the office to Nigerians.” It added
“Ogakwu however commended the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, for ensuring that all candidates shortlisted for the position of AGF, are meticulously screened by the relevant authorities”, the statement emphasized.