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FRC crisis deepens as board members accuse executive secretary of distorting salary structure

By on May 14, 2015

The last may not have been heard of disaffection among the board members of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) as some of its members are accusing Jim Obazee, the executive secretary, of distorting the nominal roll of the council against the civil service rule following the approval of a new salary structure for the council.

According to a document seen by BusinessDay, the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission (NSIWC) had last year, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment that supervises the council, approved an estimated sum of N306.68 million annually under the new structure for 63 FRC staff.

However, the document revealed that only Obazee earns N28 million approximately 10% of the total sum.

According to one of our source, “This annual salary is beside the N600, 000 which FRC pays him as ‘incidental’ when he embarks on ‘any’ local trip no matter the frequency and duration. This implies that if he travels five times locally in a week, FRC pays him N3 million as ‘incidental’ excluding hotels and air tickets.”

The document further reads: “100% of the consolidated salary should be paid to staff and management in Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Lagos, and Calabar offices. 90% of the consolidated salary should be paid to staff and management in other offices.”

“Ask him why he refused to place and pay FRC staff at the appropriate levels approved by the National Salaries and Wages Commission while only paying himself the amount approved?” One of the sources queried.

BusinessDay checks reveal a huge N23.9 million annual salary difference between the executive secretary and the person next to him in rank who is on grade level 12 step 1 on salary of N4.1 million per annum,.

“He distorted the nominal roll of FRC in a bid to favour some people with the possibility of positioning his likely successor in the event that he is removed. He employed his brother in-law and has posted him to head procurement unit without the prerequisite qualifications and experience,” the source said.

Continuing, he said, “Contrary to the civil service rules, closest rank to Obazee is an assistant director. He has refused to have a directorate.”

Obazee is currently said to be seriously fighting back through some influential people in the society.

Already, some board members of FRC have written to one of the persons Obazee is using to send emissaries to Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect.

Part of the letter also made available to BusinessDay reads: “We humbly request that you disassociate yourself from this clandestine move by Mr. Obazee to use you to stay back in the office. The Act establishing the FRC is powerful enough for effective anti-corruption activities. What we need is honest, transparent and dedicated leadership not a pathological liar who uses name-dropping to intimidate board members, staff and stakeholders.”

“We, therefore, believe that you will never allow or assist or protect any of the officers of the out-going president who carried out their assignments unprofessionally and with high level of impunity to ride on your credibility,” the letter reads.

“We do not intend to bother you with details, but we believe that one who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Therefore, the question is how clean is Mr. Obazee’s hands? Is he guilty of some of those allegations against Sanusi no matter the magnitude? Why is he now desperate to reach the president-elect through you?” Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, was the CBN governor.

However, analysts hold that it is left for the incoming government of Buhari to decide Obazee’s fate as the bad blood generated by his actions is tearing the board apart.


[Business Day]