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Workers petition ministry over alleged illegal recruitments, promotions at NIMASA




A PETITION calling for the probe of alleged illegal recruitments and promotions at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been forwarded to the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar. The petition, put together by “Concerned Staff” of NIMASA, alleged that some senior staff were allegedly employed illegally and assigned positions beyond their qualifications.

Calling for an investigation of all recruitment carried out by the present management of the agency, the workers alleged that some individuals were employed indiscriminately as Deputy Directors and Directors without following due process especially as stipulated by the Federal Character Commission.

Copies of the petition according to the workers have been sent to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Head of Civil Services of the Federation, Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Productivity, Chairman and members of NIMASA Board of Directors.

But, a source at NIMASA’s public relations unit who preferred to remain anonymous said the agency was not aware of the development. Besides, the workers also accused the agency of using consultants to carry out recruitment exercise, adding that those engaged were occupying positions beyond their qualifications and years of experience.

The workers said: “We wish to respectfully put forward a formal complaint to you sir, as protest on the current trend in personal management practice introduced by the present Executive Management of NIMASA in the name of reform by its administration.

“The personnel management style brought into the system is alien to both public and private sector personnel management practice in Nigeria and, perhaps, beyond. “From 2010 when the present Executive Management assumed office, appointments, promotions and disciplines took a new dimension, that is not only dangerous but a path of total destruction of the system.

The new approach introduced from 2010 turned logic upside down in personnel practice. It is on record that the management conducted personnel management as a personal and private affair where all known procedures and relevant establishment regulations in decision-making process are set aside”.

The petition alleged that one of the Director who was employed as a Deputy Director, was six months later redeployed to another department as acting Director to replace a substantive Director, “Interestingly by 16/12/13, less than two years, he was confirmed a Substantive Director”.

The workers alleged that another officer was also recruited with effect from 21/01/2013 as Deputy Director “with no qualifications and experience to earn him that position. In a similar style, the officer’s appointment was claimed to be reviewed and placed on GL 17 with effect from 01/03/2015 just less than one week to a scheduled promotion interview in which he is to compete with career officers.

According to the workers, another officer was equally appointed as Deputy Director, adding that the officer was a mere contract staff with a multinational firm.

The petition alleged that at the expiration of the officer’s tenure and with the availability of an established vacancy for a post of director in the agency, the staff has been redeployed to assume that office in preparation for confirmation as a substantive director, “This move was designed for implementation despite the availability of pool of career officers that are eligible to occupy that position”.

The workers said: “At this point, it may interest you to note that in line with extant practice in public service promotion exams are usually conducted for eligible officers from one grade level to the other. The provision of condition of service of the agency has also clearly provided for conduct of promotion exams for officers that were eligible for promotion more especially for those on GL 08 – 17.

Another round of promotion exams was scheduled for 4th March, 2015 in which, this officer is “not eligible” to participate. “The issue of staff disciplinary action against erring staff has become worrisome in the sense that the Executive Management has adopted a style of humiliation against some set of staff that are allegedly perceived either being sympathetic to one Political Party or the other.

In addition, staff that are eligible for promotion have been denied, always framed up with Phantom charges that are not verifiable in order to silence them.

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