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Laolu Akande highlights areas of concern for Tinubu’s administration



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A former presidential aide, Laolu Akande, has highlighted areas of concern for the Bola Tinubu administration, suggesting a proper investigation into incidences of civil servants blocking the President’s appointees from resuming work.

Speaking on Channel TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Akande noted that the lacuna that exists in the current government has become a cause of concern and should be nipped in the bud very quickly.

Reacting to some discrepancies across different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria, Laolu Akande said there was a need for the head of the federal civil service to put consequences in place, stressing that, this should be done after proper investigation.

He added that President Bola Tinubu is empowered by the constitution to make appointments to MDAs and that he does not need to consult civil servants before doing so. He also urged ministers to follow due process in expressing their frustration, making allusion to the minister of Women’s Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye who threatened to sue the United Nations.

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria

Laolu Akande also spoke to the fiasco at NIPOST where civil servants blocked an appointee of the President from resuming office. “There are a few things that are happening and I think we have to be very clear to try and call it what it is. The powers of the President to appoint to executive offices under the constitution should never be limited or hindered by anybody. Whoever the President has been elected, he has taken an oath to the office, so he has the authority, so the President does not have to go and consult with the workers of a place to say this is the kind of person I want to appoint. It is something that is out of the ordinary for people to say that the person that the President has chosen can’t enter, that is quite a bit of a stretch but I think the matter was sorted out.

“I also think that it is important for the authorities to have some kind of training, some kind of brushing people up, a minister said yesterday that she was going to sue the United Nations. First of all, the United Nations has immunity against local jurisdiction, you cannot sue the United Nations and if you do have a grudge so much as you expressed, what about the Foreign Affairs Minister? Why don’t you go to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Budget and Planning Minister or those agencies that deal with international agencies? Then you have the case of the former NIPOST Postmaster General coming back after a presidential statement has said that there is a new guy and then you come back and made NIPOST say you have been reinstated, it is a bit of chaos, that the President has to fix.

Quizzed about his stance on consequences for erring civil servants, Laolu Akande said, “I think the initiation of the consequences ought to start from the head of the civil service. It is becoming something close to a trend. We have to do an overall civil service reform; the consequences should be initiated by the head of the federal civil service. This is somebody that I know wouldn’t tolerate the kind of behaviour we have seen.

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“We should be expecting what is coming from that office and a stop has to be put to this and the way to do it, is to investigate what has happened in all these instances especially the case with the Minister of Works, even though the Minister of Works being a politician has already apologised, I think they should still bother to look at it and look at all the sides and this particular case of somebody that has been removed, getting the agency to announce that he has been reinstated, only for us to find out that the new appointee is in charge and some other dramatic instances we have had.

“I guess people might say it is a freedom of expression but to the issue of someone coming out to announce their reinstatement and people trying to avoid being held accountable for coming late, those things have to be looked at from the desk of the head of the civil service. It is important because we have to balance it, that there is a lot we need to fix in our civil service, the structure has to change, we have to change the orientation, we have to find a way to attract the best and when the best is in there, we have to find a way to keep them,” Laolu Akande said.

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