Implosion At NNRA Over Illegal Appointment Of Acting DG
ABUJA, May 13, (THEWILL) - Months of uneasiness at the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) over the alleged assumption of the position of acting director general of the agency by its director, nuclear safety, Dr. Martin Ogharandukun, are gradually coming to the open.
Investigations by THEWILL revealed that the development has created crisis in the organisation, as some staff are opposed to what they termed the director’s decision to unilaterally arrogate the office of acting director-general and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Authority to himself.
The law setting up NNRA, the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act 1995 Part 111, 8 (1) vests the power of appointing a director-general for the Authority on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, contrary to this provision, Dr. Ogharandukun on May 31, 2011, allegedly made himself acting director-general/CEO of NNRA after a management meeting, and went on to include himself as one of the signatories to the agency’s accounts.
He also posted on the authority’s website (www.nnra.gov.ng) that the management of NNRA had appointed him the Acting DG/CEO, pending the appointment of a substantive DG; and then changed the authority’s letter headed papers to reflect his new “appointment”.
He has since been allegedly executing the full functions and duties of an acting DG/CEO of the Authority, awarding contracts and approving payments.
Apart from the anger and disaffection that his actions have caused among staff of the organisation, a human rights group, Human Rights and Accountability Initiative (HURAIN), has already written him over the matter.
THEWILL gathered that vacancy for the position of DG in NNRA arose following the retirement of its pioneer helmsman, Professor S. B.
Elegba, who had completed two five-year terms from 2001 to 2011. He handed over to Mr. Bulus Yabaya, the then director of administration and finance, who acted from April 2011 till his death on May 27, 2011.
Section 6 of the Public Service Rules (PSR) clearly spells it out in Rules 020601, 020602, 020603, 020605 and 020606, that the Federal Civil Service Commission must be notified before an acting appointment can be made, and such appointment gazetted with the dates of commencement and cessation of the acting appointment clearly stated.
These conditions were alleged to have been ignored. Furthermore, under Rule 020604, such an acting appointment must not exceed six months.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ogharandukun has been acting for nearly one year, from May 31, 2011 to date.
Some staff of the organisation who spoke anonymously to THEWILL alleged that Dr. Ogharandukun has also been receiving allowances of an acting DG/CEO.
Similarly, a deputy director, Mr. Akim Bakreen is also alleged to have made himself the acting director of administration and finance, since June 2011, allegedly including his name on the list of signatories to NNRA’s accounts. He is also said to have been illegally receiving the allowance of an acting director, in addition to remaining in acting capacity over the stipulated six months.