As Oshiomole, Ngige lock horn, who will win at the end?

As Oshiomhole, Ngige lock horn, who will win at the end?

As the Chairman of governing All Progressive Congress, Adam Oshiomhole, and Minister of Labour and Unemployment, Chris Ngige, seem to have drawn a battle line, who do you think will have his way at the end of the day?

On Monday July 23, Oshiomhole told State House correspondents that Ngige would be sacked by the APC if he failed to inaugurate the board of Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)

But, Ngige could not take any of Oshiomhole’s assaults on him. He fired back through a statement.

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Oshiomhole had said: ” If the minister refuses, we’ll suspend him form the party. We must return to internal discipline. For me it is the height of mischief for any minister, you cannot purport to be an honourable minister and you act dishonourably. and nobody is greater than the party.

“And, if the President condones disrespect for his office, I will not condone disrespect for the party. And when we expel the minister we will prevail on the president that he can’t keep him in his cabinet; people who have neither respect for his own decisions nor have respect for the party without which they would not have been ministers. There are no independent candidates in our party. No minister is above the party and they have taken undue advantage of the president’s fatherly disposition…

“So, when a minister sits in his office to appropriate the powers of the board in a democracy, not in a dictatorship, award contracts that didn’t go through boards, those are clearly abuse of office for which they are liable.

“I am convinced that what they are doing is not with the endorsement of Mr. President. Over the period they have tried to drop the president’s name, but I tell them it is the same authority that appoint these people.

“So, we are informing them that it is either they comply to the president’s instructions or they comply with the party’s position or they go and administer outside the government.”

“We respect for ministers who recognise that they are a product of a political party “and we are not negotiating that.”

Apart from Mr Ngige, Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika, is also yet to inaugurate some boards under his ministry.

The former Edo State governor said “it is the same green pen that made them ministers that appointed these boards that they are refusing to swear in. And it is absolutely illegal for a minister in a democracy to prey on the powers of the board because the laws establishing those institutions are clear, that the boards have procedures to follow.

Responding, the minister said his party’s chairman was ignorant of the workings of boards. He said allegations of corruption at the NSITF was the reason the board had not been constituted.

A statement signed by the Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere read, “The attention of the Hon. Minister of labour and Employment, Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige has been drawn to media reports that his office appropriated the powers of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund( NSITF) in the award of contracts, hence the delay in inaugurating the board of the agency.

“Such a blatant falsehood is either on account of fertile ignorance or outright mischief or both by the originator as well as the peddlers. It is therefore imperative that the provisions of the Procurement Act 2010 which is clear and unambiguous on the process for the award of contracts be re-emphasized.

“For clarity purpose, the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) for the award of contracts in any Ministry is made up of the Permanent Secretary as chairman and his Directors, while in the parastatals, the Parastatals Tenders Board consists of the Chief Executive Officer (Director General or Managing Director) and his Directors .

“The Minister is not a member and therefore does not award contracts. Similarly, members of Board of Directors being non-members of the Tenders Board of the parastatals do not also award contracts. It is therefore a stunningly crass ignorance for anyone to claim that part of the reasons for the delay in the inauguration of the board of the NSITF or any parastatal was to enable the Minister usurp the role of the board as regards the award of contracts.

“When the threshold of the award is above a parastatal, such contracts are referred to the MTB for final approval. Such also is the case with the Ministerial Tenders Board threshold which is referred to the Bureau for Public Procurement and from there, to the Council of Ministers called the Federal Executive Council for treatment and ratification. So in effect, the Federal Executive Council is not a contract awarding body and hence Ministers do not award contracts stricto senso!

“It is our humble view therefore that those in authority should be versed in little basic issues that guide public governance so as to be properly guided in their utterances to avoid unnecessary character assassination and unfortunate misinformation of the general public.

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