There is looming crisis in the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) over a last minute appointment of two Executive Directors of the bank by former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Investigations by Daily Trust reveal that the new appointees are to replace the duo of Waziri Haruna Ahmadu Executive Director, Wholesale Finance and Sam Elibe Executive Director, Corporate Sevices of the bank.
Among the people said to have been nominated for the Executive Director position were Alhaji Haruna Sambo and Mr. Babatunde Igun.
But Waziri Haruna Ahmadu has refused to hand over to one of the new appointees because according him, his successor’s appointment was inappropriate.
According to Waziri, their letters of appointment were signed by a Director instead of the Minister or Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, a situation that raises concern and the need for more proof that the approvals/letters were genuine.
It was learnt that even though the Permanent Secretary of the ministry Arc. Sonny S. T. Echono, only learnt about the approval on the 28th May, 2015, after which he gave instructions to the Head Human Resource as to what to do, the letters of appointment were dated 27th May, 2015.
Daily Trust gathered that the confusion started a fortnight before the expiry of the President Jonathan government, the then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina was reported to have submitted a list of three nominees to the president for approval to be appointed Managing Director and Executive Directors for the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
It was also learnt at the time, that one of the nominees, a Dr. Danbala Danju, was still a Senior Advisor to the then President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka.
Stakeholders expressed concerns at the time as to the propriety of Dr Adesina nominating a sitting senior employee and advisor to the CEO of an Institution he was in the race for election to replace, to the apex position at another institution without any independent assessment.
It came to pass that Dr Adesina won his election as President of AfDB and the Senior Advisor from the AfDB Dr Danju was nominated, approved and now appointed as the MD/CEO of BOA in Nigeria.
The appointments were approved Thursday, 28th May, 2015 few hours before hand over by then president Jonathan despite the furore about last minute appointments as staff and management of the BOA were left in the dark until Monday June when a mild drama occured.
The embattled Waziri narrated the incident saying, on “Monday morning, when we were holding an informal Monday Morning Review meeting with the Acting MD/CEO and the Company Secretary. Two gentlemen suddenly intruded the office where we were meeting, and proceeded to present two copies of letters of appointment as EDs, signed by the Head of Human Resource Management at the Ministry, to the Acting MD/CEO.”
Waziri in a statement made available to our reporter added, “I shall continue to do my best until the next Minister of Agriculture comes along and tells me to go, or if in the interim the President or anyone clearly acting on his directives tells me to go, then I will hand over to whom they direct. I am truly disappointed at the way that BOA has been turned into an object of ridicule, a mere tray for dishing out personal favours, but in the same manner, I also see my responsibilities as far too important to simply throw away at the first sign of disappointment.”