Recruitment of unqualified staff comes at a huge cost to the nation

For years, there have been tales about a job racketeering ring which sells employment slots to job seekers. Last week, a former desk officer at the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Haruna Kolo confirmed the development. He told the House of Representatives ad hoc committee that he indeed fronted for the Chairperson of the Commission, Muheeba Dankaka, to sell employment slots to job seekers. Although Dankaka denied receiving any such money, she had earlier accused other commissioners of selling jobs thus confirming that the recruitment process in many of the ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) is highly susceptible to bribery and corruption. 

Kolo, who has transferred his services from the commission to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) where he currently works confessed that he used his personal bank account to collect huge sums of money from job applicants and withdrew the same for Dankaka in cash. When the investigating committee wanted more from him, in a follow up session, Kolo failed to honour the invitation. But he has already revealed enough. Indeed, two victims of alleged job racketeering at the FCC, said they paid N1 million and N2 million each for job placement in the commission. “Most public institutions now sell employment positions, notwithstanding qualification of the applicant and ability of the applicant to perform optimally on the job,” noted Oluwole Oke, who pressed for the ongoing investigation in the House.  

READ ALSO:   Insecurity: Niger to Reopen Some Public Schools

The prevalence of bribery and corruption, particularly in the country’s public service, is huge. The House ad-hoc committee has received 39 petitions from the MDAs alone, alleging job racketeering and mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). Only last year, there were series of petitions to the Senate from aggrieved job seekers, alleging that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) management did not allow them to carry out any documentation despite issuing them letters of employment. One of the petitions, signed by a former deputy governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, alleged that employments into the interventionist agency were sold for various amounts depending on the financial strength of the applicant’s family.  

The federal government recruitment and payment of civil servants and public officers are fraught with corruption, as public institutions have since stopped advertising for jobs and vacancies. Some job applicants pay as much as N5 million to be hired. But it is not restricted to federal agencies. In fact, the states and the local councils are even worse off as syndicates impoverish the children of the poor and their parents in exchange for jobs. It is so bad that to secure a teaching job in some states, applicants are made to pay scandalous amounts of money. Many of the job seekers resort to taking loans from friends or financial agencies at exorbitant interest rates. 

READ ALSO:   Why FG should constantly dialogue with technology service providers

 Various surveys conducted by agencies on recruitment process into the country’s public service have revealed that sentiments and other primordial issues like ethnicity, nepotism and favoritism are given more consideration in terms of employment than merit. A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for instance, observed that 32 per cent Nigerians who secured jobs in the nation’s public service in 2019 paid a bribe. Country Representatives, UNODC, Oliver Stolpe, stated the findings were not based on perception but on empirical findings backed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC).  

 The staffing of government agencies with unqualified staff comes at a huge cost to the nation. The public service has largely been unable to meet the expectations of citizens both in terms of basic needs as well as institutional transformation. It poses a major risk and eases underperformance as widely observed in today’s public service. This is in contrast to the efficiency, productivity, and professionalism of the 60’s and the 70’s. 

We urge the anti-corruption agencies to wade into the scandal at the FCC with a view to bringing all the culprits to justice. This is a systemic rot that smears the integrity of public service in Nigeria. Such is the level of perfidy that tales now abound about people paying for cabinet positions in the country! 

Previous article#BBNaijaAllStars: Mercy thinks she’s smart, feels I owe her — Ike
Next articleBlockchain Could Save Fintech Firms Billions as Sector Players Seek Improved Cross-Border Payments: Report

Leave a Reply