A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the aegis of Integrity Advocacy for Development Initiative (IADI) and Center for Peace Transparency and Accountability (CPTA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a new Statistician-General of the Federation without delay.
The Secretary of the coalition and Director of CPTA, Comrade Patrick Ogheneyero and spokesman of the coalition, Ofomhi Osizemhete Christopher, made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja.
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Daily Trust reports that the immediate past Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Simon Harry, died two weeks ago in Abuja.
The coalition, however, said that while they join others Nigerians to mourn the late Harry, it is important to keep the nation’s development stride running, as would have been the wish of the late Statistician-General and which he also stood for.
“We extend our sincere condolences to your Ministry of Budget and National Planning, for the passing-on of late Dr. Simon Harry, a very productive and result oriented Statistician-General of the Federation until his demise,” Ogheneyero said.
He noted that the duo of Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; and Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning
Prince Clem Agba, have been doing their best for the nation’s economy with the Statistician-General of the Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and that the absence of Statistician-General is a minus that must be addressed.
“As it is important for government to continue and the NBS especially considering the crucial role of the Bureau to the life of our nation, we pray that a replacement as productive and result oriented shall be appointed.
“Whilst the government would by now be trying to appoint a new head (Statistician-General) for that sensitive agency (NBS), we implore the supervising Ministers and Mr. President to consider the sensitive and critical nexus between the core mandate of NBS and economic planning, growth, and development.
“In view of a replacement, our humble advice is an internal recruitment especially a deserved most senior, and most professionally proficient member of the team that worked, and supported the late Dr Harry that just passed,” Ogheneyero said.
He said that experience have proven grievous internal apathy against appointments made outside the agency, and even more deep-seated institutional acrimony has been demonstrated towards even internal appointments that are not the most deserving which causes a distortion of the career path within the organization.
He said, “We therefore implore the supervisory Minister of Budget and National Planning to look inwards with keen respect for the career calibration/hierarchy within the organization for the continuity of the good done and left behind by the gentle soul of late Dr. Harry. That is the most appropriate way to appease the soul of the departed Statistician-General.”
While commending the Federal Government anti-corruption efforts, the coalition also urged President Buhari to prioritize the resolution of the ASUU strike, tackle insecurity and other challenges facing the nation especially ahead of the 2023 General Elections.