Alleged corruption: Permanent Secretary arrested, sacked, to be prosecuted
*For awarding 500 contracts to his company
*Massive sack of Permanent Secretaries to follow
*As PMB plans to downsize govt
Authoritatively, it is a tsunami sweeping through the fabric of the very corrupt federal civil service in weeks to come, as one of the Permanent Secretaries, (not yet named) was not only caught, but was arrested and has been ordered to be sacked. He will also face prosecution.
For the few ones who have their ears on ground, that have been gripped by sack fever. President Muhammadu Buhari had planned to trim the size of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to a compact proportion – in order to make them more manageable.
There were indications that some permanent secretaries, especially the alleged corrupt ones might be arrested and prosecuted. Government had in the last 18 months been on their trail when it was realised that the highest quality of corruption was in that strata of the service.
Reports reaching www.gongnews.net show that the presidency has also halted plans to conduct a test for about 20 directors seeking to fill vacancies for the Director General (DG) of the Budget Office and permanent secretary slots for Abia, Borno, Kwara and Jigawa states – as the alleged abuse of the selection process accounted for the postponement of the test.
According to our source, the current size of the Permanent Secretaries will be reduced by 50 per cent. We have 42 permanent secretaries. MDAs will be merged. While some permanent secretaries may proceed on retirement, about 12 of them will face prosecution for alleged corruption issues.
Government has already looked at their records. The ones who fiddled with SURE-P funds, mismanaged resources and presided over phoney contracts, 12 of them, will face prosecution.
www.gongnews.net recalls that the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee had recommended drastic reforms in the civil service. The panel recommended: “There is no direct relationship between the number of ministries and efficacy of service delivery. The US with a population of 316million and with GDP of $17, 328 trillion (30 times Nigeria’s GDP) has 15 ministries. India has 24 ministries, while the UK has 17.
“The current structure of the Federal Government of Nigeria with 28 ministries and 542 agencies (50 of which have no enabling laws) results in very high cost of governance. The portfolios of ministries are not responsive to all the major critical national challenges such as family and child affairs; religious affairs; vulnerable and elderly group affairs as well as the North-Eastern crisis.
There is an apparent conflict between the desire of reducing the cost of governance through cabinet downsize and the constitutional requirement of a cabinet-level ministerial appointment from each of the 36 states of the federation”
500 companies to award contracts to himself: The offending official, who hasn’t been named, was arrested, ordered to be sacked on Tuesday, 21st March , on President Buhari’s orders.
Our source revealed, “we have been monitoring the man and the various companies being used by him to siphon huge sums of money from the ministry, which handles intervention programmes in the Niger Delta region but he has been very smart and suspicious of our movement, thereby making it impossible for us to arrest him despite the ambush we laid for him and his cronies.”
“But Mr. President did not waste time in asking the Head of Service of the Federation to sack the man with immediate effect as soon as he got to know that the man had used over 500 companies to award fake contracts to himself and move huge sums of money from the ministry in question.
“In fact, the discovery of the large scale fraud in the ministry, which has suffered a lot of project failure and the subsequent sacking of the permanent secretary by Mr. President, followed painstaking investigation by the anti-corruption agencies, which will soon charge the man to court,” the source added.
The former permanent secretary was reportedly taken out of the Federal Secretariat by two police officers. He had been in a tug of war with both the Minister and the Minister of State (which was reported by www.gongnews.net).