Imam Ibrahim Kashim Imam, a 24-year-old Nigerian was recently appointed as board chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and this has continued to generate mixed reactions from Nigerians on social media.
FERMA is the agency involved in road construction, improvement and connectivity between states. The mandate of this agency which is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Work, is also to monitor and administer road maintenance with the objective of keeping all federal roads in good condition.
On Friday, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had appointed the 24-year-old first-class graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Brighton University in that capacity.
The chairman, whose father is Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, is a politician, completed the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in August 2022.
While some Nigerians are praising President Tinubu for the appointment, others are criticizing the president across social media platforms.
According to those who disagreed with the appointment, the newly appointed board chairman lacks the experience and expertise to head a strategic organization.
The few that supported the appointment noted that the young man would learn on the job.
Below are some of such comments:
@Haslawal87 said: “Appointing a fresh graduate with no work experience to such a high position is absolutely ill-advised.”
@fine_stefany1 wrote: “He will learn on the job.”
@kennyNuga: “This appointment is not worth it. A fresh graduate to oversee the entire FERMA board. Absolutely unworthy.”
@Dipo_Bello: “This doesn’t seem right. We want young for young-appropriate roles. This role seems the type that requires a lot of experience. A board member could be more suited to him.”
@aminsaad: “Political expediency should not be a factor in making appointments where experience and even expertise could be called upon.
“Ferma is all about construction. An experienced civil engineer could make a better choice. True, the mech engr could as well marshall channel knowledge into ensuring the heavy equipment of the agency are in top shape
“Those in authority should try to make the country work by prioritizing expertise and experience. These two are essential commodities to any struggling economy like ours.”
@peng_writer opined that, “This is not as good as people make it feel. Not in any way undermining the young man but he’s not ripe for this job. Apart from the fact that he doesn’t have any experience in public work, neither has he displayed any expertise in field work as it relates to Nigeria terrain.”
@JALLO71424757: “This is an absolutely Silly appointment!.”
@adamsaleemm: “Good to see young and vibrant people occupy places of authority. Despite his inexperience, which raises ethical concerns, he could be the catalyst for the transformation we have longed for. May Allah grant him wisdom and strength to fulfill his duties.”
@AtahiruAbdulka1: “NYSC completed in 2022. Congratulations to you o. But if it’s me and another common Nigerian, they will ask us for 5 to 10 years working experience. I know that God will surely judge us all.”
On another platform, someone wrote, “His father is currently the chairman of the board of the TETFund. That’s not even the issue. Yes, it is good to appoint youths into positions of responsibility. Nonetheless, appointing a fresh graduate, with no cognate experience, into such a sensitive position is ill-advised. The truth is that Tinubu doesn’t seem to be getting it right with appointments made so far.”
On his part, All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode, said the appointment gives hope to the younger generation.
“I am deeply inspired and encouraged by the appointment of our son Imam Ibrahim Kashim-Imam as the Chairman of FERMA. This gives hope to the younger generation and clearly shows that Nigeria rewards and utilises the talents of those that are highly qualified and that have a good pedigree. I have known Ibrahim since he was born and I can testify to his ability, excellence and brilliance. His distinguished and highly respected grandfather, Alhaji Ibrahim Imam, was a great force in the politics of the First Republic, Secretary of the then ruling NPC, one of the founders and patrons of the Borno Youth Movement and a leading member of the Northern House of Assembly. His equally illustrious father, one of my oldest and dearest friends and brothers, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, is a dogged fighter and first class politician and one of the those that contributed so much to the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the presidential election. He is also one of the most brilliant, forthright, reliable, honest, courageous and credible forces in Nigerian politics today, who served as Special Advisor and Senate Presidential Liason Officer in the Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo and who served as Chairman of TETFUND in President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration. I have little doubt that Ibrahim will follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps and do exceedingly well.”