Senator Akpabio, serving as the President of the Senate, disclosed the establishment of a fresh FERMA board, but his use of the term "executive board members" instead of the usual "board members" has stirred dissatisfaction among FERMA employees.
In a letter addressed to Senator Akpabio, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) expressed their concerns.
The letter, jointly signed by Mr. Paul Onimisi, ASCSN Chairman, and Mr. Abdulmumin Idris, AUPCTRE Chairman, described the Senate President's announcement as discouraging and demoralizing for the agency's employees.
“The appointment of some members as executive board members to eventually take over the running of the departments is contrary to FERMA Act and detrimental to the career progression of the employees of the agency.
“It will not serve the agency any good in achieving its mandate.
“The appointment of some persons as executive board members is contrary to the provisions of Section 2(2) of the FERMA Act as amended and career progression within government agencies.
“It is counter-productive and demoralizing for career officers as the intention is for the executive board members to take over from career officers who are running departments.
“We urge you respectfully, distinguished Senate President, to confirm the appointment of members of the board in accordance with the Act that created the board.
“To do otherwise is to usher in a chain of events that will disrupt the structure of the Agency, derail its mandate and demoralise the workers,” the unions maintained.
The unions’ executives said the direct consequence of making some members of the board executive members to head departments was to derail the agency because workers would not support it.
The union leaders emphasised that particular adverse result of the contraption of making some board members executive board members was the creation of a board within a board.