SGF Debunks Cash For Board Appointment Allegation

Babachir David Lawal-SGFThe Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal has dismissed as false, a report in a national daily that some top officials in his office are collecting as much as N50 million from candidates seeking appointments into the Board of Grade ‘A’ Federal Agencies and Parastatals.
The report published on Monday with the caption “Fraud rocks Board Appointments”, alleged among other things that the Office of the SGF was involved in cash-for-board appointments scandal.
Reacting to the report, Mr. Lawal insisted that his office is not known to join issues with the Press on unfounded allegations made in the Press.
The SGF pointed out that board appointments, just like other political appointments, are the sole prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari, hence, his office should not be linked with “this particular baseless, mischievous and politically motivated publication”.
In a statement he issued to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, Lawal said he had to refute the report, “If only to set the records straight as well as protect unsuspecting members of the public from possible fraudulent activities by scammers, using the name of the OSGF.
“The OSGF wishes to first clarify that, it does not make political appointments, including those into Boards of Parastatals, as this is the prerogative of the President.
“Neither is the Office involved in employment activities, which is the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission or the respective Agencies as the case may be”.
He noted that with regards to the appointment of Boards of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies, there is a Presidential Committee on Board Appointments with membership drawn from the six (6) Geo-political Zones of the Federation, none of whom is an official of the OSGF.
“The Committee, which liaises with all the States of the Federation, is saddled with the responsibility of identifying and recommending qualified and eligible nominees for Board appointments for Mr. President’s consideration.
“The Committee is composed of men of unimpeachable integrity and honesty in whom Mr. President reposes unqualified confidence to carry out this assignment to his satisfaction”, he added.
He lamented that it is, therefore, a sad and regrettable reflection of the level of degeneration of some journalists to have made such crude and mischievous allegation of corruption in the ongoing process of Board appointments.
“If the so-called reporter has bothered to cross-check his facts, he would have found that it is a common knowledge that appointments into Federal Agencies and Parastatals are not done by covert means but through verifiable processes such as the Federal Character principle, qualification, experience and suitability as specified in the laws establishing the Boards”, he added.
He stressed that it needs to be further reiterated that the so-called Hajia Mohammed or the “Olori” as mentioned in the Newspaper publication are not known to his office, and anybody who claimed to have had any dealings with her for any Board position did so at his/her own risk.
He said “The OSGF and, indeed, all Government offices have authentic and verifiable channels of communication with prospective nominees for Public Offices and the process does not require any so-called ‘syndicates’ or intermediaries as mentioned in the publication”.
Mr. Lawal recalled that his office has had cause in the recent past to warn members of the public about the existence of criminally minded persons who send telephone text messages to inform them that their names have been shortlisted for Federal Government appointments.
He, therefore, advised members of the public to ignore the activities of these syndicates who are indeed fraudsters and out to defraud unsuspecting persons in the name of the OSGF.

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