Allegations of recruitment impropriety hits another government agency.
Eleven applicants who felt aggrieved over the recent recruitment by the management of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, have petitioned the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission, FCC, demanding a probe into the exercise.
The petitioners, who claimed to be graduates of various disciplines from different universities in the country, accused the PEF management of conducting the recruitment of 80 fresh employees without recourse to existing statutes and guidelines regulating such exercises in the public service.
They include Benedict Akubue (from Enugu State), Muzamil Yahaya (Gombe), Alaere Kalaina (Bayelsa), Aisha Baba (Adamawa), Opeyemi Adeagbo (Oyo), Elo-Oghene Oded (Delta), Balogun Hafsat (Ogun), Babagana Abba (Bornu), Auwal Ishaq (Yobe), Justina Ihenmadu (Anambra) and Betrus Dan (Bauchi).
In the petition dated January 21, 2013 and addressed to Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character & Employment as well as the Chairman of the FCC, the aggrieved persons said the exercise neither followed due process nor met stipulated principles of federal character as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
“The management of PEF did not follow due process by publishing/advertising existing vacancies in any national news daily as stipulated by the statute, thereby depriving us of the opportunity to participate in the interview or selection exercise which was held between 3rd and 17th January, 2013,” they alleged in the petition.
According to the petitioners, the recruitment process denied millions of other qualified and competent Nigerians the level playing field and opportunity to participate. They accused the management of the PEF of favouritism by giving the jobs to their relations and friends.
The petitioners said that while they do not begrudge the 80 people that benefitted from the exercise, they are offended by the clandestine process that allocated jobs to people without due regards to the provisions of the law and country’s constitution.
Noting that part of the promise by President Goodluck Jonathan was the creation of jobs for the teeming population of unemployed Nigerians, as well as provision of equal opportunity to all irrespective of religious affiliation, financial capacity, ethnic and social background, the petitioners urged the lawmakers and the FCC to wade into the matter.
They reminded the government of the purpose for which the FCC was established, pointing out that probing the recruitment exercise would help check flagrant abuse of processes and procedures of other such exercises by various government establishments, including PEF.
Recently, the country has been assaulted with a myriad of allegations of recruitment scams perpetrated by several government ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, including the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS; Nigeria Police Force, NPF; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
The National Assembly, which has been inundated with several petitions from aggrieved Nigerians on the various recruitment scams, is expected to commence a public hearing on the issue soon.
PEF spokesman and Manager, Corporate Services, Goddy Nnadi, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that though the Human Resources Department is yet to avail him with full details of the recruitment, he is confident that PEF management would not have been involved in any arrangement that would support breaking laid down government regulations, or one that contravenes federal character requirements.
“It is the practice in PEF to observe due process in the conduct of all our official businesses, the issue of recruitment and employment are not an exception. PEF always gets approvals from all the relevant authorities before doing anything,” Mr. Nnadi said, assuring that detailed response would be released on Tuesday to address all issues raised in the petition.
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