Friday, April 26, 2013

2015: 56 INEC directors lose positions – Govs, others barred from having direct contact with staff

AS part of 2015 preparation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded its controversial internal re-organisation with the commission now having 29 directors from the earlier eight five.jega inec The structure of the commission has also witnessed restructuring with nine new departments and 10 directorates, headed by directors and supported by deputy directors heading units within the directorates and departments.
The department of Logistics is now combined with that of operation while voterseducation is now joined with publicity and gender issues. Political party registration is now combined with political party monitoring just as the Commission has revived its Electoral Institute with specific emphasis on training and research.
Contrary to earlier reports, none of the directors was sacked even as top directors with one or two years to retire are offered options of exiting now with full pay or redeployment to the Institute to engage in training and research matters ahead of the 2015 general elections.
A top official of the commission who let the Nigerian Tribune into details of the restructuring explained that logistics and operations were merged to address issues of late arrival of electoral materials while issues of voters education is now a top priority in the commission.
“We met on ground a commission with 85 directors with a department having three, four directors. We met a commission with multiple departments with overlapping responsibilities. We have streamlined all that now and we have an efficient structure that can meet the expectation of Nigerians,” the top official who is not authorised to be quoted on the matter, said.
It was also learnt that the restructuring has addressed the issue of federal character in the postings of directors with each of the six geo-political zones now having their fair share out of the 29 new directors.
“In the past, a state has as much as nine directors. Now the 29 new directors are posted with federal character in mind.INEC is no longer lopsided in term of postings“, the official said.
On how the restructuring was handled without the sack of any director, the official disclosed that the package prepared by the commission for directors with one or two years to retire did not include option of sack.
“We told them you have two options. One is to retire now and still collect all your entitlements. About two of those affected have taken this offer. The second option is to get posted to the Institute. So I don’t know where the press get the story of mass sack,” he clarified.
It was also gathered that the commission is enforcing a new code of conduct which barred its officials from directly dealing with governors and other public officials except officials of the registered political parties through the department of political party registration and monitoring.
Nigerian Tribune was told that because of this new policy, about two governors were turned down when they approached the commission and requested actions to be taken on some issues.
“We told those governors pointedly that we have no business with them as we are relating directly with their political parties. Because of this new approach, governors no longer visit us here.
“In the past, people used to bring money in Ghana Must Go to the commission. Nobody dares do that now because we have sacked many officials found wanting. We are not compromising on issues of discipline. We have sufficiently scared politicians since we assumed office here in the commission,” the top official explained.

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