..As Senate Committee Vows to Expose Alleged Secret Recruitment in FIRS, NASDRA, NDLEA, others
… Alleges that some agencies sell single employment slot for as high as N1.5 million.
By Henry Umoru
INDICATIONS have emerged that the Senate is set for a showdown with some federal agencies and Parastatals over alleged secret recruitment exercises, just as there is palpable disquiet in the Upper Chamber over the matter.
The Senate has however vowed to summon and subsequently probe these agencies with a view to ensuring that employment and job recruitment strictly complies with the Federal Character Principle in accordance with the 1999 Constitution ( As Amended).
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Government Affairs, Senator Danjuma La’ah, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kaduna South, said that nothing will stop his Committee from exposexposing the beneficiaries of the alleged job race racketeering.
Senator Danjuma La’ah who noted that beneficiaries of this act may influence the leadership of the Senate to stop the investigation being conducted by his committee, but the committee will not be cowed to jettisoning the planned holistic investigation.
The Senator stressed that the investigation would be carried out and concluded properly no matter whose ox is gored.
Some of the agencies have already been written and directed to appear before the panel.
Among the affected agencies are, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA; National Space Research and Development Agency and the National Open University.
Others are the Federal Civil Service Commission; the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital; Rural Electrification Agency and the Nigerian Navy.
Senator La’ah said, “I have made it clear that we need to be thorough to show that we are not witch-hunting anybody or any organisation.
“We want to be sure that employees will not be lopsided, every geopolitical zone must benefit from the employment because that is needed to promote national unity.
“I don’t care who they have given job slots to? Is it the leadership that will give them the backing? The leadership knows that I am capable of doing my job that is why they gave me that responsibility.
“I am using my sense to fish out the bad elements. It is not a leadership directive. There are rules and regulations guiding us as a committee. The affected agencies should either present themselves for clearance because I will not take it easy. Our people have suffered in bondage for long.”
He continued: “And I am not aware that any agency gave out employment slot to the Senate. The leadership has not told us that they receive any slot. So, who did they give? As the Chairman of this Committee, who is also representing Kaduna South, I was not in any way, aware that we have been given any employment slot. So we are going ahead with our probe.
“I have taken it upon myself that I will probe deeply into the agencies’ claims and carry out an extensive investigation. We are going to expose all those that are tarnishing the image of the Federal Government.”
Senator La’ah who alleged that it has come to the knowledge of the Committee that some agencies sell single employment slot for as high as N1.5 million, said, “We are aware that some of the agencies are selling the employment slots at their own disposal. They are commercialising employment, selling a single slot for as much as N1.5m when we have children who have graduated from tertiary institutions who could not get any job for many years.
“It is not there at all. It is because of the situation of this country. Some people are just taking Nigerians for granted. Our children are suffering, running from one end to another, looking for jobs. Some have become bandits and terrorists because the jobs meant for them have been cornered by some greedy people.
“The young educated Nigerians are joining Boko Haram because of lack of jobs. When thousands of qualified graduates are looking for jobs, some people will just be parking government jobs for their family members simply because they are in a position of authority. They will even go-ahead to give jobs to those who graduated with fake results.”
It was however gathered that some Senators are putting pressure on the Committee to fast track the investigation to enable the Senate sanction any of its members alleged to have benefitted from the racketeering of jobs by Federal agencies.
A Senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “the fact that the leadership had allegedly collected 100 job slots and shared it among themselves show that we can’t win the war against lopsidedness that we talk about in the country.
Another lawmaker who spoke on the issue said, “the Secret employments is already tearing the Senate apart with the allegations that the Senate leadership was offered 100 slots from a particular agency of the Federal Government and shared it among themselves. An average senator who is not a member of the executive cannot even boast of being given a single job from any federal agency to his or her constituents.
“We had information that one of the leaders shared 26 slots to people in his senatorial district. Problems are really brewing up in the Senate because the leadership has allegedly taken jobs meant for the entire Nigerians. Does it mean that you must know a senator in Nigeria before you get a job? Nothing is being done by merit and due process again. How will you get the best brains to do the jobs? The implication of this is that many people are being offered employment without undergoing any interview to test their capability. They just give them appointment letter because they know the leadership of the Senate. How can a single senatorial District get 26 slots when others have nothing?
“My expectation is that the slots should go round. I see no reason why each senator should not have a slot each.”