A chieftain of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Oluwafemi Adegboye, has accused the Federal Government and the management of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) of violating the Federal Character Principles in the engagement of personnel for the agency.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to institute a probe into the finances of NIMET in the past eight years, alleging that several corrupt practices took place in the agency within the period.
Adegboye also canvassed President Bola Tinubu to place all the executive management team and some senior managers on compulsory leave in a bid to ensure an investigation into the several corrupt practices in the agency in the last eight years.
A document dated August 29, 2023, with the head: ‘Very Urgent: Petition on Inadequacies, Misappropriation, Travesty and Corruption in NIMET, a Parastatal Under the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development by the Past and Present Management,’ addressed to President Bola Tinubu and obtained by Nairametrics, called on the President to correct all the anomalies done in the agency in the past.
The document, which was also copied to Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, accused the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika of playing up ethnic cards in the agency.
According to Adegboye, the management, supported by Sirika, had been operating in flagrant disobedience to principles of federal character.
For instance, he alleged that all the employment done during the eight years was one-sided and in favour of one particular region in the country.
He also alleged that all the appointments into the executive and senior management level of the agency were lopsided, stressing that out of the 10 positions at the executive management for instance, six were from Katsina State, while the other four were from the other five geopolitical zones of the country.
Besides, he accused the past government and the current management of Nimet of engaging in secret employment without approval and due process, stressing that the wage bill of the agency had almost doubled because of illegal recruitments.
He purported further that some southern staff of the agency were deliberately denied promotion in 2023, regardless of the availability of vacancies in their cadres.
He also pointed out that Sirika and the current management at NIMET jettisoned the due process in employment and award of contracts in the agency.
“Mostly adverts are not placed for employment and contracts as stipulated by law. There are a lot of shady deals in all employment and contracts done in the last eight years.
“More than 80% of the executive and senior management in the agency studied fields that are not related to the mandate of the organization. They lack ideas in providing adequate direction for NIMET. Virtually all funds generated by NIMET go into building beautifications, unnecessary constructions and fittings replacement, and others.
“Little or nothing is spent on meteorological infrastructure, development of meteorological science, and staff welfare.”
Adegboye also called for an extended probe of financial irregularities of NIMET management by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), wondering how a car park at the Kano Station of the agency for instance, could have cost about N250 million.
He also questioned the non-functioning of the multi-million-dollar Doppler Radar system for the agency despite the huge amount of money spent on their maintenance.