FCC Lagos Office Locked Up Over Unpaid Rent

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

told.

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

North.

"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

office."

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.

Source: Sharareporter

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