By Ahmad Shehu
There’s no doubt that the Hon. Minister of FCT, Mal Mohammed Musa Bello is not as corrupt as the other Ministers of the Federal Republic, but they’re other aspects of his leadership styles that are worst than when you have a corrupt Minister.
To start with, the Minister put up a face as someone who does not have attachments to the office, but one wonders why he will conveniently find a way of satisfying those he sees as capable of exposing his inefficiencies and lack of emotional intelligence to occupy office of the Hon. Minister or any office that will require serious interactions and risk taking. The Minister’s quest to portray himself as a righteous person, but allowed his children to be all over the offices in FCT, looking for contracts and other favors also questions his stance as one who does not want any form of family interference from his family and friends.
There’s a director who has told several people within the FCT, how the Hon. Minister often call him to ensure that his associates are well taken care of in terms of contracts allocation and other benefits. It’s no longer news that the Minister throws tantrums and go to the extent of throwing objects at anyone who may have offended him once he is in this state that is not expected of a public office holder, anything within his reach becomes an object to either threw at the other person or people or just smashed them on the floor. A look at the minister’s daily schedule shows 97% of his activities around receiving visitors, neglecting projects supervision and other urgent matters. This explains why files and other correspondences can spend months on attended to.
The Minister in his smart way always ensures that only mails from the presidency and other critical stakeholders are attended to. This is one of his ways of showing the President that he is working. The Minister has singlehandedly issued land allocation to individuals and groups whom he thinks can expose his inefficiencies, and this he has been doing consistently. There are instances he personally took allocations to people in the villa just to always pave way for him to see the President whenever he wants. How else, can we understand a Minister whose inaction has caused the FCTA revenue loss, certificates of occupancy are not being signed to generate revenue and to worsen the situation the Almighty emperor of Abuja closed the land application office of the lands department with the flimsy excuse that people are pressurizing him to allocate lands to them.
The Accelerated Area Council and Senatorial insurance schemes (AACSEIS) has not been functioning even though it was relaunched making it difficult for the FCT to generate revenue from this huge potential. There is no longer approval for building plan in Area Council which is why there is hazard development. The issue of IPPIS is worrisome when payment is made to consultants as FCT has the capacity to have their own IPPIS and pay their own staff themselves.
Today the hospital management board that is supposed to be managed by a well qualified consultant is now being run by a medical officer with less than 5 years cognate medical experience. The FCT board of internal revenue is not left out of this mess, up till now there is no substantive head for the agency. It’s only during the time of Mall Musa Bello that we have the office of the Director of Treasury not having a substantive Director. Staff morale are down but because the active Labor unions has been compromised with land allocation and no one can challenge him.
This is about the first time in the history of the creation of the Federal Capital Territory where the Land use allocation committee report will spend over a year on the Minister’s desk without any action and he keeps allocating lands to those whom he perceive can have influence in his continued stay in office.
The city is running on auto pilot with the Minister’s lip service attention to only services that will catch the attention of the President and some other highly placed Nigerians and foreigners, example of these services are Street lights, cleaning of the Airport road and some greening and construction of roads, other administrative actions can spend months no matter the urgency in his office without him being bothered.
How can one explain the administrative recklessness under the current Minister where the Managing Director of Abuja Market Management Council still enjoys full salary and all allowances 18 months after being deployed from the organization to report in the director of Human resources office. The redeployed MD still enjoys newspapers, driver, security, gardeners, cleaners are being paid from the lean resources of the organization, this has severally been brought to the Hon. Ministers attention without any corresponding action.
Posting the MD to the Director of Human Resources office was an error as he was never engaged by the administration directly, he was appointed as MD and should have been fired if he was found wanting after serving in that capacity for over seven years.
Because management staff are fully aware of his short tempered and lack of emotional control and low managerial ability, they just listen to his directives, and do as they wish knowing fully well that he can act beyond scattering things on his table whenever he is angry.
One of the victim of the Bello hypocrisy was Dr Tope Ajakaye, the Permanent Secretary who resumed work with him in 2015. DR Ajakaye who saw the Minister as a replica of the President in the Area of fight against corruption thought they were on the same page and did everything humanly possible to ensure that the staff of the administration imbibe the new culture and since change is one thing that human beings wants, this made the entire workforce and the media to hate the Permanent Secretary as he was seen as one who does not have their interest at heart.
Soon after Dr Ajakaye retired from service, the Minister donated Five Million Naira to the FCT Press corps just to demonstrate to them that Ajakaye was the person holding back what they ought to have gotten and this followed by other gratifications to the press corps just so they won’t report any negative story from the FCT.
Moral bankruptcy is what the Hon Minister has which is why most of the guests who visited him never get what they asked for no matter the merit of the request so long as he has nothing at stake or anyone up there to please. The resources of the administration are being used to satisfy personal interests across board.
One wonders why it has been a herculean task for the Minister to appoint replacement for some directors who have since retired from service, a situation that has made a department as sensitive as treasury to be without a substantive director for over 4 years. We never had Directors on acting capacity like we have in the current dispensation.
The city is fast becoming a refuse dump site because of the inactivity of the Minister. The menace of Okada riders all over the place is what has made Abuja fast becoming one of the headquarters of a lawless Capital city, the more officials try to remove them, the more they come in droves. Abuja is becoming a slum where building is now being erected on green land, sewage line and the rest.
Ahmad Shehu writes from Abuja and can be reached through: [email protected]