There are strong indications that four of the heads of culture and tourism agencies in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture may have been directed to handover today to the most senior director in their respective agencies since the Ministry was yet to receive any communication from President Muhammadu Bahari, (who is currently on medical tourism to the UK) whether to renew their appointments or not.
The affected DG’s are Otunba Segun Runsewe of the National Council of Arts and Culture; Tar Ukoh of the National Troupe of Nigeria; Folly Coker of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Adedayo Thomas of the National Film and Video Censors Board (ÑFVCB). They were all appointed on March 31st 2017 and their four years first term tenure ends today.
Although, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia maduekwe, was appointed same time as the other DG’s, the medical doctor curiously got his tenure renewed in February 2021 almost a month before the end of his first four years tenure.
“He is the only one (Maduekwe) who can continue in office after today since he secured his renewal using his relationship with the Chief of Staff, but others would have to handover because the rule says that your tenure ends once there is no approval for you to continue In office after the expiration of your tenure” a source in the office of the Minister said adding that it is not likely that they will have their tenure renewed especially now that the Ministry has asked for the nominal roll of the affected agencies so that the most senior directors will be communicated to take over in acting capacity until they are “either reappointed or substantive heads are appointed”.
There is currently a cloud of uncertainty amongst staff in some of the agencies our correspondent visited. At the NFVCB Lagos office, staff were seen discussing what one of them said was the “end of a terrible era” at the NFVCB.
“We can’t wait for today to come and go so we can start enjoying fresh air. The last four years under this DG was to say the least, choky. I can’t wait to wave bye bye to high handedness,” a staff said.
The situation was same at the National Troupe of Nigeria in Lagos. Some members of staff were seen in clusters discussing the issue of tenure of Tar Ukoh. Our reporter overheard a staff saying that they cant wait for the close of work today (March 31st) so they can ‘sweep Tar Ukoh’s feet” off the Troupe. That man is a disaster. He practically killed the national troupe. I am waiting to make my very first post on social media which will be good riddance to bad rubbish. I can’t wait for tommorrow to come” the staff who simply gave her name as Esther said.
Our reporter who visited the Abuja office of the NTN reports that the offices were locked and deserted. On enquiry, he was told that the Director locked up the offices and ordered the staff to go home since friday last week. Efforts by our reporter to reach the affected Chief Executives to confirm if they have secured approval to extend their stay in office beyond March 31st proved abortive.