Rivers Under-Represented In MDAs, FCC Laments

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Rivers State is one of the top states that has the least representations in the federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, The Tide has gathered.
Currently, the state has about 2.2 per cent of positions and employment at the federal level as against 3 per cent as recommended by the law.
The state, alongside Bayelsa, had its highest peak between 2011 – 2013 during the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, when indigenes from the area had the employment quota almost filled, and amply engaged in federal agencies and ministries.
The Tide learnt that the situation may be worse with the multinational and private companies whose employment policies are not regulated by the Act establishing Federal Character Principle.
The state Coordinator of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Mr. Owonaro Bolou Henry told The Tide that the commission has commence, sensitisation on some agencies on why federal character should be reflected in their employment policies and programmes.
According to him, the law provides that any employment from levels 01-06 should give 75 per cent to host communities or indigenes.
Asked whether federal agencies operating in the state enforce the commission’s law on low cadre jobs, Owonaro said, “They do because we try as much as we can to monitor them”.
The FCC state coordinator revealed that the state loses most of its positions at the federal level because the indigenes refuse to take appointments outside the state.
Besides that, he revealed that people from neighbouring states snatch positions meant for Rivers people through the guise of impersonation and influence from highly placed persons.
Explaining further, he noted, “If the law says that Rivers State has 10 positions and unfortunately they can only provide three, the other seven positions will be thrown open to other states”.
For now, he maintained that Rivers and Bayelsa States are under-represented as two key officials who were represented in the FCC had retired and another resigned.
Owonaro promised that defaulting ministries, parastatals, state government and local councils which fail to adhere to the Principle of Federal Character will sued to court, as he decried poor funds as a major challenge to raise awareness and training of personnel.