The Lagos State Office of the Federal Character Commission (FCC),
located at Plot 36A Acme Road in Ogba, has been locked up by the
property-owner over unpaid rent of two years, SaharaReporters has been
Our correspondent who visited the commission was informed that the
agency's staff have been unable to gain access into the premises to
carry out their official functions.
SaharaReporters was told that the commission has not been getting
funds needed for running the day-to-day costs of the office since the
end of the tenure of Alhaji Muhammad Bello Alkali, who died on the 8th
of January 2016.
They further stated that the problem began when Dr. Shettima
Bukar-Abba, on the 11th of January 2016, was appointed as Acting
Chairman. The Acting Chairman, they said, has failed to release any
funds for running the office, adding that the same situation exists in
the commission's offices in most parts of the country, excluding the
"Dr. Shettima has been used to perpetrate the dirty duties of the
President, which is to ridicule the sole aim of federal character by
having more Northerners in civil service. This is clearly against the
federal character principle," one of them said. "Since he was
appointed, he has not released any funds for us to pay office and
utilities bills. This is being done by the Presidency to alter
employment to favour the Northern part of the country. What has become
the trend in Nigeria today is that head of major commissions and
agencies is channeled to the North and that is why 85% of employment
opportunities are sent to the Northern part of the country," he added.
"We come here every day since the office has been locked but we have
to go back home because there is no way we can gain access to the
Another staff questioned why the commission even needed to share
office space in the first place.
"I wonder why we have to be using a small office space when, as a
federal agency, we are supposed to be using a complete building with
which we can effectively carry out what is required of us."
An investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that the rent in question
is N1.2million annually, which is a small part of the N3.3billion the
Federal Character commission receives as allocation yearly.
When we contacted Adetunji Musulumi Ramoni, the Lagos State
Coordinator of FCC Lagos Chapter about why the office is under lock,
he denied that rent is being owed, claiming that the staff of the FCC
Lagos office are field workers who don't stay in the office.
"We are all field workers and do not stay in the office. We go out to
work every day. Nobody in FCC Lagos office can say that we are owing
rent because they are not the ones that pay for the office rent," he
told our correspondent.