The House of Representatives, yesterday, moved to strike a regional balance in the appointment of Chairman and Secretary of the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
This followed a bill seeking to amend the FCC Establishment Act 2004 to provide for the appointment of the chairman and secretary from different regions of the country to reflect federal character principles.
Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom), who led debate on the general principles of the bill during plenary, noted that the proposed piece of legislation was first read on July 15, 2021.
He said the bill seeks to “put in place a legal framework and guide for the presidential appointment of the two key positions of the commission to be from the two regions of the country.”
Idem noted: “The commission is primarily established with the fundamental responsibility to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of the proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government.
“The Act (establishing it) makes distinct provisions for the Presidential appointment of the Chairman of the commission in Section 2 (2) and Secretary in Section 9 (1) (b).
This bill seeks to amend the provision of the Act to reinstate the position that the two critical positions to be appointed by the President of be expressly and mandatorily from each region of the country for the effective running and administration of the objectives of setting up of the commission,” he said.
In the highlight, the lawmaker informed his colleagues that the bill has an amendment of a section of about two subsections, which are vital to the management and effective administration of the objectives of the commission and equitable distribution of the key positions.
He said: “Nigeria is a vast and diverse nation. There should be equal representation of all the regions. The commission shoulders a huge responsibility of handling high volume of representation that requires the trust and confidence of the whole country. Having a regional representation would make the commission equitable and efficient, thereby having a ripple effect on the developmental system of the country.”
The bill, which has no direct cost implication on public funds, has been passed for second reading.