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Outrage as 600 NNPC applicants lament exclusion two years after exercise

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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters are seen in Abuja, Nigeria July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) may be on a collision course with 600 applicants who applied for various positions and got to the final stage of the interview under the corporation’s Experienced Hires (EH) vacancies but are yet to get their appointment letters two years after.
 
As part of its intake process, NNPC had opened a recruitment portal for Graduate Trainees and EH from March 13 to 26, 2019 (first stage) to enable eligible candidates to enrol.
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This was followed by the selection of 60,000 eligible candidates (second stage) who sat for the Computer Based Test (CBT) on June 1, 2019, across 50 centres in the country and the third stage of oral interviews which took place from July 1 to 6, 2019 at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
 
President, Transparency in Recruitment at Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Felix Sunday, said the inability of NNPC to close out on the EH recruitment process after two years remained worrisome and amounts to exclusion, adding that if the corporation could complete the process for graduate trainees who have since resumed duties, why not the EH?
 
Sunday maintained that the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, while releasing the employment letters to GT on Feb 14, 2020, had advised the EH candidates to await their letters ‘soon’, a pledge he again publicly reaffirmed at the June 2020 webinar series organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).   
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‘‘Since this period to date, these words were not matched with action and candidates are still in the dark on the release of the remaining EH employment letters even though crude prices had rebound much higher than pre-COVID-19 rates,” he said.

Sunday further alleged that in the past few weeks, NNPC had begun to replace most of the EH positions under the guise of a hurriedly planned scheme codenamed Internal Open Resource (IOR) where some people, who contracted/third party staff and did not meet the requisite experience and qualifications in the advertised EH vacancies are being deployed through the backdoor in an unfortunate and disappointing bid to jettison the EH merit list.
   
But, when contacted, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Kenny Obateru, disclosed that the allegation of swapping by the Experienced Hires applicants was unfounded.

Rather, he said what the NNPC management did was to fill the vacancies with NNPC personnel who are already in the system and are qualified, rather than recruiting fresh ones from outside the system.
   
Sunday added further that Kyari should be advised to immediately retrace his steps and release the employment letters for EH in order to formally conclude the NNPC 2019/2020 recruitment exercise.
 
‘’This is in line with the promise by the Federal Government to reduce corruption in our MDAs and entrench probity, fairness and accountability in our public institutions and especially to assuage the youths who have been at the receiving end. The gains of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should be further entrenched in job creation to allow merit in job selection processes and in this case to improve the public perception of the NNPC’’.

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