Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says competence and wealth of experience have informed his selection of 15 persons as commissioners rather than religious or ethnic sentiments.
Sule offered this explanation at the opening of a 2-day retreat for commissioners-designate and other top government functionaries on Wednesday in Akwanga.
The governor said the clarification became necessary in view of reactions from certain quarters, especially the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that trailed the appointment of his commissioners and aides.
He said that the appointments were based on the track records of those who made the list of his commissioners and aides.
“When we were making the appointments, the first consideration was the competence and experience of the people that would deliver good governance in line with our campaign promises.
“We did not give too much attention to religious, political or ethnic affiliations.
“We didn’t look at that until probably very late and I think I would take that into cognisance in future given the composition of our society.
“We selected them based on the roles we believe they can play in the administration to succeed in fulfilling our campaign promises,” Sule said.
The governor explained that the essence of the retreat was to ensure that all the participants were on the same page with the vision and mission of the new administration.
He emphasised that the state was faced with a lot of challenges, especially financial and that the expectation was for the participants to brainstorm and come up with solutions.
Sule also stressed the need to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and explore other revenue sources in view of the dwindling allocation from the federation account.
He charged the commissioners-designate to participate actively in the retreat, saying their report on the exercise would largely determine their posting.
He explained that the posting of commissioners, permanent secretaries and other top government officials would be based on their area of competence.
“We would ensure that we put ‘square pegs in square holes’ for efficient service delivery,” the governor added.
The governor had on Oct. 16, appointed his commissioners with only four Christians making the list of 15 appointees.
The state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has since criticised the composition, alleging religious bias.