Jennifer Smith
Fri, Aug 11, 2023 11:40 PM

Allegations of Job Racketeering and Fraud Surface in Nigerian MDAs

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Allegations of Job Racketeering and Fraud Surface in Nigerian MDAs
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating job racketeering and misuse of IPPIS by Nigerian MDAs has alleged fraudulent activities. MDAs have been accused of securing waivers to bypass advertising job vacancies, enabling them to engage in racketeering. The Energy Commission of Nigeria's admission of recruitment without advertising roles has further fueled concerns. Committee Chairman, Yusuf Adamu, criticized the practice, highlighting its negative implications for qualified Nigerian candidates. The alleged mismanagement of IPPIS and revelations of job seekers paying large sums of money add complexity to the investigation.

The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee is currently investigating allegations of job racketeering and the misuse of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by various Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria. Disturbing revelations have emerged, indicating that MDAs intentionally secure waivers to bypass the requirement of advertising job vacancies, subsequently engaging in racketeering and fraudulent activities.

The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) is one such MDA under the committee's scrutiny. During a hearing, the ECN admitted to recruiting 214 employees in 2019 without advertising the roles. Their justification for ignoring the advertising process was reported as having obtained waivers from the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and to avoid being inundated by an excessive number of applicants.

However, Chairman Yusuf Adamu expressed grave concerns over this practice, highlighting its negative consequences. He pointed out the under-representation of certain states in such recruitments, which ultimately deprives qualified Nigerians of employment opportunities.

Gagdi, a member of the ad-hoc committee, strongly criticized the waiver system, suggesting that it is synonymous with fraud. He alleges that many MDAs exploit this system to sell jobs to the highest bidder, thereby excluding genuinely qualified candidates.

This unscrupulous practice raises questions about the ethics of the recruitment process. Instead of ensuring fair and transparent hiring, it appears that these job slots are divided among various stakeholders, undermining the principles of merit and equal opportunity.

As a response to these concerns, agencies under investigation are being challenged to produce evidence of vacancy advertisements to substantiate their recruitment processes. The Federal Character Commission, which plays a critical role in ensuring fairness and equitable representation in public service employment, must investigate these allegations and take appropriate action.

During the committee hearing, the acting Director-General of ECN, Joseph Sunday, stated that they made efforts to adhere to the federal character principle in their hiring processes. However, he acknowledged that certain states were marginalized in their most recent recruitment. He promised that such disparities would be rectified in future hiring exercises.

Adding another layer of complexity to the investigation is a shocking revelation from Haruna Kolo, the former IPPIS desk officer at the FCC. In his testimony, Kolo admitted to collecting a substantial sum of N75 million from job seekers, claiming he acted on the instructions of FCC's chairperson, Farida Dankaka. Kolo disclosed that Dankaka directed him to deposit the funds into his personal account and later handed over the cash to her during multiple meetings.

According to Kolo, job seekers paid substantial sums ranging from N1 million to N1.5 million into his account. Following Dankaka's instructions, he gave her the cash using a point-of-sale machine, leaving no electronic evidence of the transaction.

This revelation sheds light on the extent of mismanagement within the FCC and highlights the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the IPPIS. It is imperative that all individuals involved in these fraudulent practices face appropriate consequences, and that measures are put in place to prevent future occurrences.

The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee will continue to delve deeper into these allegations to unearth the full extent of the malpractice within MDAs, including the FCC and other related institutions. It is crucial for transparency, fairness, and equal opportunity to be restored in the recruitment processes of Nigerian MDAs, ensuring that qualified individuals are not unjustly denied employment opportunities.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-11 News

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