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Who becomes Nigeria’s National Assembly’s next Clerk?

As the incumbent Clerk of the National Assembly Alhaji Nasir Ibrahim Arab proceeds on a compulsory three-month terminal leave on October 12, race has has begun in earnest, to succeed him
THISDAY gathered in Abuja,  weekend, that pressure is already being mounted on Arab to write to the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), intimating it with his arrangements to begin his pre-retirement leave.

A source, however, hinted that if Arab does not notify the NASC, the Commission will send him a memo to that effect.  The three-month compulsory pre-retirement/terminal leave has been operational since April 1, 2001.

Specifically, the leave is a product of a Federal Government circular,  reference number: B.63216/S. 1/X/T: CIR.1 /2001/5, dated March 20, 2001.The circular, signed by Dr. Aboki Zahwa (then) Permanent Secretary (Establishments and Pensions) in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, had read: “it has been observed that the mandatory notice of retirement for officers who are to retire on thirty-five (35) years of service or sixty (60) years of age has created some difficulties.
“The tendency is for the officers to continue to work until their last day in office.  As a result of this, retiring officers hardly have time for themselves to put their records together.  This situation has led to avoidable delays in processing officers’ retirement benefits due to paucity of up-to-date records.
“Henceforth, officers are required to give three months notice to retire from service.  At the commencement of the period of three months, officers should proceed immediately on the mandatory one-month workshop/seminar.
“For the remaining two months, retiring officers are expected to take necessary measures to put their records straight, so as to facilitate speedy processing of their retirement benefits.
“For avoidance of doubt, the period of three months’ notice is a period of service. 

 Officers’ salaries and emoluments will continue to run until the last day of the three months’ notice.
The circular takes effect from  April 1, 2001 and also supercedes relevant provisions in my earlier Circular Ref. B.63216/S.1/X of 20th August, 1999….”Arab, as gathered, is expected to act expeditiously in accordance with the spirit and letter of the government circular for a smooth succession in the topmost slot of the National Assembly bureaucracy.

But THISDAY checks revealed that the race to succeed Arab, which had been on for several months, has now been zeroed down to one candidate: Mr. Yemi Ogunyomi, from the Southwest zone, who is currently the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly (DCNA).

When he steps in as acting CNA next month, Ogunyomi will become the first Nigerian from the southern part of the country and the first officer from the legislative cadre in the National Assembly to hold the position.

Those who have so far occupied the position  are Alhaji Gidado Idris, Dr. Adamu Fika, Alhaji Ibrahim Salim and Arab.  This development, as learnt,  weekend, favoured the emergence of Ogunyomi as Arab’s successor.

Before now, there were fears that Ogunyomi might lose the race for the top job to intrigues within and outside the National Assembly.A source said  the issue of succession had now been resolved in favour of position (seniority) in the hierarchy of the National Assembly bureaucracy

THISDAY  also gathered that the vacancy to be created in the position of the DCNA by the upward movement of Ogunyomi is now a subject of hot scramble by senior directors in the National Assembly.

But pieces of information strung together in the National Assembly and the NASC indicated that Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, the most senior director and third in the hierarchy after Arab and Ogunyomi, had been favoured to step into the position of DCNA.

Tension had heightened about two weeks ago, when Maikasuwa was allegedly shot at by some unknown gunmen near his residence in Life Camp, Abuja.

He was lucky to have escaped without being hit. Police have launched an investigation into the reported attack.Maikasuwa, going by the subsisting hierarchical arrangement in the National Assembly is,  primed to succeed Ogunyomi as CNA next year once he takes over from him as DCNA next month.

Ogunyomi will proceed on his three-month compulsory terminal leave in April, next year, preparatory to his retirement from service in July of the same year. 

 But he (Maikasuwa), according to his record of service obtained from the NASC, will retire from service in 2016.

Source: Thisday