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Public offices: Merit, not federal character, should be considered in appointments — Osinbajo

VICE-PRESIDENT Yemi Osinbajo has said for the country to attain economic growth and development, merit should be placed above federal character when appointing people into public offices

He stated this amid grievances in some quarters over the lopsided appointment of persons into national offices by the current regime led by the President Buhari

Osinbajo spoke at a webinar on Saturday organised by the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, led by a former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Rebuilding our national value system’, Osinbajo, who was the keynote speaker, said the country’s value system must be established in such a way that it would reward talent and enterprise towards economic growth and sustainable development.

He said, “A value system rewards talent and enterprise, and it is talent and enterprise that will drive sustainable growth. I need to make this point because time and time again, we get arguments around whether the appointment of persons into public institutions should be based on federal character. The dominant principle should be merit.”

While not dismissing the need for the federal character which he said it is essential to create “a balance,” Osinbajo reiterated the significance of merit.

“Federal character is essentially affirmative to create a balance, but even if we are to create that balance, it should still be based on merit. For example, if we are to reserve an office for a particular zone, that zone should be able to produce the best (candidate).”

To Osinbajo, the values that needed to be instilled among the citizens include integrity, dignity, national responsibility and unity, and patriotism. He added that this was why the President recently launched the National Ethics & Integrity Policy.

“The point to be noted is that practically all discussions on our national odyssey so far centre around development, and for good reasons, this is by far the most important dynamic in measuring individual or communal success.

“I am focusing on the existential role of values in the socio-economic development of any nation. The value system we need is the one that promotes our economic development. It must also be capable of engendering unity. The end result will be the creation of a happy society,” said the vice president.

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