By Angela Atabo
Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG) has called on the Federal Government to make merit and competence the yardsticks for the recruitment of next Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF).
Mr Ogakwu Dominic, President, CSGGG, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, also called on the government to fill the office based on the principles of Accountability, Integrity and Transparency (AIT).
Dominic said that it was imperative for the CSO to send the message to underscore its interest in the unfolding drama surrounding the vacancy in the Office of the AGF.
He said the screening process should be merit-based, focus on credentials, work experience, competence, capacity and character viz-a-viz the principles of accountability and integrity.
He said, “From the very beginning, we have written to President Buhari Muhammadu and all relevant stakeholders in and out of government, stating that the civil society’s position on this matter .
“At the end, five out of the most qualified candidates should emerge, one out of which can then be appointed as Accountant General of the Federation.
“The crux of the matter is that we want the screening process to de-emphasise the obsolete use of examination as the major determinant for recruiting the AGF given the pivotal and influential functions of the office on our national economy.
“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.’’
Dominic said that the process of selecting permanent secretaries buttresses his point.
He recalled that Bauchi, Cross River and Taraba, three out of the six states which sat for the last PS examination still did not have any representing them.
He said they were being short-changed because the candidates representing these states were not favourably disposed during the examination process conducted for the examnation.
“The above scenario is a graphic illustration of how this examination-centred system disenfranchises and deprives Nigerians of their rights of participation in the democratic process.
“This further underscores the fact that examination should not be the litmus test for career preparedness,‘’ he added.
Dominic said that on the contrary, ability and capacity to deliver on the job should be the yardstick for selecting public stewards and as such, personality and leadership qualities must be factored in.
He said the country is in a state of financial disaster and only a Nigerian with a proven track records in revenue generation, expertise in financial management, alongside a vast experience in people management could rescue it from total implosion.
He said the next AGF should be someone who could diplomatically facilitate a healthy synergy among the three arms of government, catalyse a robust and cost-effective inter-agency cooperation in order to lower the cost of governance.
He added that the person should be able to work harmoniously and seamlessly with his or her principal the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
This, he said would allow for the smooth implementation of government financial implementation framework 2022 – 2025, vis-à-vis the monetary and fiscal policy of government.(NAN)(nannews.ng)
Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam/Julius Toba-Jegede