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Pres. Jonathan Sacks Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission

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Saratu Altine Umar

President Goodluck Jonathan has fired Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Saratu Altine Umar.

The Nation reports that a statement released by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, revealed that she has been relieved of her appointment with immediate effect.

Uju Aisha Hassan-Baba, who previously served as Director-General, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Anambra State and Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, is Umar’s replacement.

“President Jonathan thanks the out-going Executive Secretary/Chief Executive for her services and wishes her well in her future endeavours,” the statement reads in part.

Photo Credit: The Nation

8 Comments

  1. Olori Tari

    May 18, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Seems like someone just realised he can actually sack people (the more the better).

    Smh. Look at Jonathan sacking right, left and centre AND reappointing how many days left again? Yet everyone is quiet but as soon as Buhari reviews these people and sends them away…they will start to shout ‘witch hunt’…’Buhari is witch hunting PDP folks, he is being vindictive’. This is now looking like irresponsibility to me and honestly, there should be a law that prohibits such in the coming years. Like a time frame..maybe from the declaration of results till the next government takes over.

    I just hope we remain just as quiet when it’s time for Buhari to do what is necessary.

  2. commmy

    May 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

    @ Olori Tari If you have nothing to say than to make hate comment then please vamooses from here, are you the one to tell the president what he should do? why do you empty heads always think you know better or you can make stupid comments each time you hear the president carry out any action?

    • [email protected]

      May 19, 2015 at 10:03 am

      The only comment full of hate here is yours. It’s also devoid of sense.

    • Olori Tari

      May 19, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Kwakwakwakwa ????? you are really angry ma but you go dey alright✌?

  3. commmy

    May 19, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    @[email protected] I don’t need to make any sense am only cautioning those who never sees any action of the president as good, so please what is your own contribution, supporters club?

  4. NG

    May 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Olori …something, get educated. He is the president till handover. Surely your imagination can work a little to appreciate the difference In the volume of work churned out by a man clearing his table at the end of a long tenure and one who is running normal unhurried work schedule. The question should be about his constitutional right to do what he is doing and the due process odf such.

    Sorry, but Buhari will know better than to be reversing legitimately executed actions because government is a continuum. You are on your own on your position.

  5. deedee

    May 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Goodbye already GEJ, your own don do abeg…..waris dis sacking and appointments all about ni, na wa o!

  6. Ahmad Isah Ghondi

    May 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

    As an insider and a pioneer staff of the subject-organisation (NIPC), those who are making comments are cautioned to have noted the antecedents of Mr. President’s call for Mrs. Saratu Umar’s removal.

    Mrs. Umar came to NIPC with a negative mind-set to change NIPC from what the Commission has been to what she believes the Commission should be even by its mandate. The prominent keywords of her inaugural address to staff included those like ‘transparency, inclusiveness, being firm’, or generally placing her in a position that made everybody feel at home with the new chief executive and we almost felt comfortable untill recently.

    Unfortunately, for Mrs Umar, most of those on the staff of the Commission had spent about sixteen years and already with various forms of experience of chief executives who had far more experience in running agencies than whatever Saratu may have been (her last being an Assistant General Manager at her former office, where while still at NIPC she was still up till 2015 trying to become a DGM).

    This an officer that Mr. President pitifully favoured to have been appointed to the headship of a frontline economic parastatal on the Class ‘A’ footing, the credentials of whose chief executive (going by its enabling Act, et cetera) should not havee been below the rank of a Permanent Secretary (by the enabling Act) looking at the level of experience in all respects, particularly of dealing with a cross-sectional and general disposition of the average Nigerian public servant’s mentality when it comes to issues of leadership in an administrative agency that attaracts more than national attention to its activities).

    The staff underwent unanticipated persecution from a chief executive that uses such authority without even recalling the circumstances of her leaving her former office and the position she was occupying. I am confident, it was because of Mr. President’s pity, and it was that pity too that probably did not allow any scrutiny on Mrs. Umar’s curriculum vitae (C.V.) that Mrs. Umar found her way into the Commission. In fact she was deceptively positive in her looks almost everything she does for anybody to detect and give a negative understanding.

    All those issues were behind Mrs. Umar’s mind when she started harassing her peaceful,disciplined and hard-working staff just in order to justify a pre-conceived, deceptive and negative idea or mind-set that she projects in justification of her actions yet manifested but that were going to be manifested in a secret, wasted re-engineering exercise that falls far short of the transparencies (given without due process) canvassed by government in the running of modern organisations: Mrs. Umar believes that NIPC staff had not done anything positive since the inception they had been working in the Commission (why accept to head a place with such a negative performance). Those who are running her re-engineering package had repeatedly in their lectures to staff said that twenty-five per cent of the staff were incompetent despite their record of execellent perfomrmance over the years as exemplified by comment by visitors to the headquarters. NIPC is one of the performing agencies in the country and every observer knows ( but in her time we recorded the worst investor views directly accounted for by the chief executive ( even on the day of the protest she engineered through bad leadership, the owner of vlisco could not unfortunately be received in the premises).

    In essence, the interpretation for her secret re-engineering exercise seems to be one of trying to smartly justify a reduction in the work force by attrition: Mrs. Umar brought a new concept of dressing to the Commission and claimed it was in the staff conditions of service (unknown to staff until herundocumented resumption to NIPC and the unveiling of her fresh vision); she also made it compulsory for staff to go for an end-of-the month week-end jogging to the national parade ground (arguing that a public servant’s whole time is bought for the entire service until retirement, all of which earned queries to a substantial number of staff across all cadres, including directors and those who had sickness excuses of not being able to attend.( in short NIPC became a slave camp requiring liberation struggles that had the force of the Trade Union Congresses’s Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Abujas branch and the intervention of the parent Ministry’s Minister to surmount in a stretch of three days of protest).

    The above type of instances could be multiplied on different other issues: any director that did not see her by way of applying through her only trusted Assistant Director Protocol officer could just be queried; Driectors were also not allowed to sit in her office prior her express permission (another query), Directors would receive correspondence on their desk activities and mails only through routing to a level twelve officer, who usually minutes without date or any specific instructions to say what the Executive Secretary expected and similar one-way styles of running an agency that is supposed to be on the fast-track for the provision of investors services for the growth of their businesses. In fact any directors that had applied for any externally advertised positions or vacancies emanating from their federal quota share of positions were retro-actively queried for embarssing the chief executive before she resumed (even though all due process was complied with!)

    The final and still subsisting tactic employed by Mrs. Umar had to do with correspondence from our supervising Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for explanations on the use of waivers. Her refusal to respond to the query since August 2014 and her reversal to put the blame on the staff of the Commission showed so much to be regretted of Mrs. Umar’s level of incompetence, irrationality and tendency to blame whoever comes close to her at such trying moments. She jumps from claiming that the Directors engineered her witch-hunt, to blaming all the staff and I am sure the Ministry and may the Presidency would come to have a share of Mrs. Umar in due course for the loss of her appointment at the NIPC.

    To sum it all, whoever is the President, whether going or not, cannot be seen to tolerate a situation as depicted above and all that has been said is not close to half of what can be said about Mrs. Umar’s stewardship of exactly one year as ES NIPC.

    From NIPC staff’s knowledge of Mrs. Umar at NIPC and what is transpiring is likely to even create situations of trying to discredit the out-going President’s gesture of pity over the situation that defined the circumstances of her exit from her former office and the present appointment as ES NIPC, which she has grossly abused for the year she stayed there.

    I don ot want to say much about the type of corruption that Mrs. Umar helped grow in the Commission, but it is instructive to note that while snubbing her Directors as soon as she was appointed, Mrs. Umar appointed a crop of officers who were readily used to reading and interpreting her mind to carry out anything she wanted using very attaractive memos based on her new pre-conceived design (which up till now only one Director knows about). This type of use of officers who were neither statutoruily qualified nor deeply experienced to handle such issues as envisaged by the rest of the Commission’s staff.

    This partly explains her blunder and use of a memo from the supervising Ministry that demanded explanations on the Pioneer status which she then turned around to blame her staff (at the risk of repeatition, incompetence, because NIPC does not give waivers, concessions in the way she put it and most of our actions on taxes are done with such stakeholders as the Federal Minsitry of Finance, Federal Inland Revenue, et cetera and usually before the definition of the companies to benefit from those areas the sectors were predefined and usually there was express approval by the President). After all investment promotion work all over the world is based on give-and-take. You give an investor a soft-landing to bring in his money and after some three or more years he starts paying taxes, besides employing thousands and providing vital services to the economy).

    So Mr. President did well to have responded positively to the NIPC Staff Union’s call for the removal of Mrs. Umar and the Union is also confident that even in the advent of a new administration the Union’s call would still be repeated and heard in the event of any danger that threatens the tenured appointments of our members and our welfare.
    Thank you

    Ahmad Isah Ghondi (Chairman, NIPC Staff Union)

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