NPC staff call for sack of DG Ghaji Bello over alleged corruption, incompetence
Ghaji Ismaila Bello, Director General of the National Population Commission, NPC, has been accused of, “gross incompetence and corruption both administratively and technically,” by some aggrieved staff of the commission.
According to the staff, the dirt under Bello was massive even as they alleged that he is incompetent to continue to shoulder the affairs of the commission. They alleged that the said incompetence was responsible for the “abysmal performance recorded in the core areas of the commission’s mandate despite the huge amount of funds released to it.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently re-appointed the DG to the chagrin of the protesting workers who have now shut down the commission, saying the DG would not be allowed to resume office.
When DAILY POST visited the zone 7 office of the commission, the DG was yet to resume work as the enraged workers have vowed to shut down offices until President Buhari recants his decision by appointing a new DG suitable for the commission. The workers met on ground were all on their Labour attires. A banner highlighting the alleged sins of the DG was placed directly at the gate.
Similarly, NPC workers under the Joint Action Committee, JAC, made several allegations while at the same time faulting the reappointment of Bello as the Commission’s DG.
JAC, which is made up of the Management, Senior staff and leadership of the Unions of NPC, in a statement obtained by DAILY POST, and signed by Comrade Agaba Rita Nkem, Comrade Aminu Abashiya, Comrade Ibrahim Saleh, Comrade Ogunyemi Funke explained further why the DG must go.
The statement which reads in part, claimed that the embattled DG, “Run generator for five months at the cost of N2.3million monthly as against PHCN bill of N500,000 a month which is more cost effective.”
The N2.3million, they said was not within the DG’s approval limits.
The statement further revealed that, “Under Dr Ghaji Bello, the premise of the Lagos State office of the Commission was rented out at the commercial rate without due regards to extent rules and the Treasury Single Accounts, TSA, policy of the government.
“Dr Bello is too politically exposed to be at the helm of affairs of a data generating organization that seeks to present data that is accurate, reliable and dependable especially the Census activities considering the history of past censuses in Nigeria.
“Bello is in the habit of going behind to seek redeployment of Directors of Finance and Accounts, DFA, that refused to be compromised. In 2017, he had been instrumental to the redeployment of four DFAs which is unprecedented in the Civil Service. He prefers to works with Subordinates officers to the DFAs who usually do his biddings.
“Under Bello’s watch, instead of the open competitive bidding, he liaised with the Bureau of Public Procurement to obtain certificate of no objection for the purchase of six brand new Toyota Prado Jeeps, one Hilux and Toyata Coaster Bus at the cost of Three Hundred million naira thereby obstructing competitiveness, fairness, domestic preference and value for money. To the dismay of staff, six fairly used Toyota Prado Jeeps were procured though immediately rejected by both the Audit, Transport and Stores sections of the Commission, unrelenting Dr Ghaji Ismaila Bello again liased with the Federal Ministry of Works and obtained clearance certificates for the vehicles, thereby shortchanging the government of millions of naira and ongoing contrary to BPP, Act 2007.
“The six fairly used procured Toyota Prado Jeeps were received based on FMW evaluation report, allocated to six Honourable Federal Commissioners representing Bayelsa, Benue, Kebbi, Oyo, Lagos and Akwa Ibom states respectively who are currently using the vehicles.
“Bello’s lack of technical knowledge and competence of the programs and activities of the Commission which is a data generating and dissemination agency.
“His presence in the last four years continues to question the integrity of the activities carried out by the Commission particularly the Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, exercise for which huge sums of money had been released but without commensurate output.
“Staff welfare was zero under his tenure, deceased staff death benefits were not paid to their next of kin, repatriation allowances for the retired staff remained unpaid till date, unpaid first 28 days, officers are made to undertake duty tours with a promise to get paid when funds are available but Dr Ghaji Bello would never honour these payments when allocations come rather he would find spurious reasons to swindle money meant for staff claims.
“Ninety eight million, seven hundred and two thousand, three hundred and sixty two naira twenty four kobo (98,702,362.24) was diverted from capital release meant for Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise for the fencing of the Commission’s lands in the states.”
Following the allegations, the aggrieved workers passed a vote of no confidence Bello and demanded a reversal of his re-appointment.
The aggrieved workers also wrote letters to top government offices demanding the removal of the embattled DG.
The letters obtained by DAILY POST, was copied to the following: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, National Security Adviser, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, Chairman, senate Committee on Population and I.D. Card, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
Others the letter was copied to include, The Chief Judge, National Industrial Court, Director General, Department of State Services, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption, The Presidency; Code of Conduct Bureau and the Inspector General of Police.
Documents obtained by DAILY POST also revealed in details the alleged corruption perpetrated by the embattled DG.
DAILY POST gathered that the Minister for Labour, Dr Chris Ngige had a meeting with executives of the labour unions, the chairman and the embattled Dr Ghaji Bello where the Minister directed that Ghaji Bello should resume office today, 29th January.
“The leadership of the Labour union visited our office complex today to see things for themselves and were amaze,” the source who wished not to be named told DAILY POST.