The Faux Independence in Nigeria

The Faux Independence in Nigeria

The fact that the federal executive council controls government agencies and parastatals makes one wonder if there is really any form of independence,  separation of power cum checks and balances in Nigeria in the Nigerian political structural set up. 

The Nigerian government due to this constant meddling into the affairs of agencies in their own “wisdom” thought that if they add the word “independent”, before the other words making up the name of the agency or parastatal then the agency will be independent from interference from the federal executive just as the name implies but a tiger cannot change its stripes.

That is how the word “Independent” found its way into names of some organizations like Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), etc but can we really say that the word “independent” been  added to those organization have really made any difference by making them independent and free from government control and meddling into their affairs? The answer is no. 

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The presidency has the power to appoint and not just appoint, he also has the power to fire the chairman of any of these organizations at any time as at whenever he pleases for any reason whatsoever. With that in mind, the chairmen or Director Generals of these agencies will definitely be loyal and subjected to the executive control. So did the addition of the word “independent” solve any problem yet?

Even in the Nigerian judiciary, every one keep shouting “independence of the judiciary” until it became a thing; so as to balance the equilibrium of separation of power and checks and balances, but the fact that it is the president who has the power to nominate/ appoint high judicial officers who are by every stretch of the common sense expected to be loyal to their appointer make the whole talk about independence silly and faux. 

The Nigerian Judiciary may as well add the word “independent”, to their name, since we are all living in the deception that the word “independent” is the proverbial tail that chase flies away. 

The act of the federal executive council trying to meddle into the affairs of every agency both in staffing, organizational structure and remuneration is worrisome. None of these agencies can be able to function optimally with this kind of set up.

For instance, The presidency fired the Director General of the National Youth Service Corp some days back for reasons best known to him, the next DG will definitely try to be cautious so as not to incur the wrath of the president to lead him/her getting fired as well; this whole setup makes mockery on the initial plan that these agencies are to be independent to function optimally.

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