Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says appointment into government positions should be by merit, though the federal character principle is essential in creating a balance.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for lopsided appointments.
Speaking at a teleconference on Saturday, Osinbajo said if a position is reserved for a particular zone, the area should be able to produce the best.
The conference was organised by the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, a body led by Olusegun Aganga, former minister of industry, trade and investment.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The vice-president said the country needs a value system that promotes economic development.
“I am focused 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,” Osinbajo said.
On his part, Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, said progress made by any country through the exercise of political power and without a value system is not sustainable.
“Therefore, we need to have a value system that is shared by every component of society,” Gowon said.
“The society of today is different from the one we grew in where values such as patriotism, integrity, honesty, contentment, refusal to steal either privately or publicly, good neighbourliness, commitment to community, and seeking the common good were the order of the day.”