When Not To Cancel FEC Meeting
The Nigeria News take a look at the incessant cancellation of Federal Executive Council meeting and its implication on governance.
Twice, since he returned from medical holiday abroad, President Muhammadu Buhari has canceled the Federal Executive Council’s meeting.
The first cancellation was attributed to the presentation of the report of corruption investigation of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ola Oke.
The president received the documents in his official residence at the Presidential Villa on the day the FEC meeting was to hold.
Late on Tuesday, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, the Personal Assistant on media to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the FEC meeting on Wednesday had been cancelled.
The statement said that the president had to cancel the meeting because of Eid-el-kabir holiday, which of course entered Monday and that members could not prepare for the meeting.
The excuse sounds irritating of a government that complains about worker’s productivity. Two weeks ago vice president Yemi Osinbajo said that salary increment might be based on productivity.
Aside the signing of budget, one of the critical aspects of government that most Nigerians in the private and public sectors use to paddle their business affairs is the decision taken at the FEC meeting.
Here, ministers submit memorandum on projects and policies for FEC to approve. Here burning issues of economic and political importance are debated and decision taken.
At the FEC meeting, committees are inaugurated, funds are approved to exhibit projects on infrastructures, payment of contractors.
At the FEC meeting, crises are resolved and it is at this meeting members give accounts of their stewardship to the president who appointed them.
However, when the meeting is not held, many of the issues that require robust debate at the highest government level are scheduled for another time.
It affects governance no doubt but it seems the present leadership is less concerned about finding solution to the current crisis in the country.
Yes, the crisis of strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the National Association of Resident Doctors. While ASUU strike has entered its third week, that of NARD is about four days old.
And there are indications that other workers’ unions are warming up to join the strike, which of course will paralyse the economic activities of the country.
Though there was report by the National Bureau of Statistics that Nigeria has exited recession, the economy is insecure with the attendant indices in the high price of foods in the country.
Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of the exit and as he put it, president Buhari said that he could not express his joy fully until ordinary Nigerians feel the exit of recession.
But judging by his magnanimity last Wednesday, when President Buhari gave out N1 million to each of the members of D’Tigress, champions of Africa Women Basketball, it appears there is a new dawn for the economy.
Not only did the FEC approved the presentation of cash award to the ladies, it also approved the sum of $5.91 billion for the construction of Mambila Hydroelectricity project.
This is how powerful the FEC meeting can be. It helps the process of government. It speeds up budget implementation and of course injects money into circulation.