By SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH
ABUJA—The sack, on Tuesday, of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigrations Service, Rose Uzoma, by the Federal Government has dashed the hope of no fewer than 4,560 Nigerians who had been secretly offered employment by the service.
Vanguard gathered authoritatively that the Federal Government has ordered immediate cancellation of the employment letters already issued by Uzoma to the affected Nigerian applicants.
Findings revealed that most of those secretly offered employment were gearing up to assume duties when the recruitment controversy broke out, finally culminating in Uzoma’s forced retirement.
A source close to the Interior Ministry in Abuja said that the Federal Government was deeply embarrassed by the controversy surrounding the recruitment and would therefore not allow what it described as ‘backyard’ recruitment into the service.
The source said, “I can say that the government has cancelled the recruitment exercise and will take appropriate steps to recruit in a transparent way.
“There is no way we can allow the fake employment to stand,” the source explained.
When the employment row first broke out, Uzoma had tried to deny recruiting people into the service and particularly favouring certain states but she had to own up before the National Assembly that the jobs were not advertised so as to avoid recruiting bad eggs into the service.
The former Comptroller-General argued that the recruitment was meant to ‘correct’ the existing anomaly in the service workforce in which 12 states were at disadvantaged position as they lacked immigration officers.
Before the scandalous exercise, Imo State for instance, where Uzoma comes from, had highest number of immigration staff with (1,187) followed by Kogi (885) and Benue (851) while Ebonyi had the lowest with 233.
The North Central zone tops the list with (5,144), South-South (4,306), North-West (4,089), North-East (3,095), South-East (3,415) and South-West3, 267) out of the 21, 612 employees in the NIS.
Meanwhile, Mr. Rilwan Bala Musa, who was appointed in acting capacity to replace Uzoma, assumed duties yesterday with series of meeting with key officials in line with his new designation.
Musa was described as the most senior officer in the NIS, thereby eliminating the usual controversy that attends such appointments. Musa was promoted to the post of Deputy Comptroller General of the NIS two years ago.