Lawmakers kick as 35 MDAs snub c’ttee probing alleged job racketeering
• Say agencies recruiting beyond limit
• CSOs tasks committee on adherence to ethics
House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating alleged job racketeering and mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), yesterday, lamented the refusal of about 36 federal Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to appear before it.
Chairman of the committee, Yusuf Gagdi, noted that most of the agencies were not respectful of constituted authority.
He said: “Forty agencies are supposed to appear before the committee, but only five are here.”
The five agencies, according to him, were Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), National Teachers Institute (NTI), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NPTIN), among others.
Gagdi said he had earlier asked the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Budget Office (BO), IPPIS and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to provide desk officers that would be in the committee to give requisite information.
After these agencies failed to provide the officers, the chairman of the committee ordered that their directors should, henceforth, come to provide the information needed instead of the desk officers.
“If the desk officers of head of service, budget office, IPPIS are not here, then we should summon their directors to come and sit here so that we can do the work together,” Gagdi said.
He berated agencies that were applying for waivers as a result of their recruitment without advertising the same, adding that such is usually used to perpetrate fraud.
The committee chairman noted that instead of engaging 100 staff as stipulated by law guiding waiver on recruitment, some agencies recruited as much as 150, thereby going beyond limit.
Registrar, TRCN, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, while answering questions on the recruitment, said that 122 people had been recruited since he became the registrar in 2016.
He said: “We got approval to recruit 122 with budget approval and waiver from the Head of Service of the Federation.”
Also, the Registrar, NCCE, Prof. Paulinus Chijioke, said the staff strength of the commission is 280, urging approval to employ more staff.
He said 67 staff members were replaced, which was contrary to the 69 staff that was submitted to the committee. Chijioke was, however, asked to leave when the number of officers recruited was inconsistent.
Two victims of alleged job racketeering at the FCC, Andulamalik Ahmed and Ali Yaro, said they paid N1 million and N2 million, respectively, for job placement in the commission.
Meanwhile, over 100 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Civil Society Activists, have implored the ad-hoc committee to adhere to ethical conduct.
However, the group, in a statement by its Coordinator, Ishaya Isa Saka, and spokesperson, Bamidele Akanbi, described as shoddy, the treatment meted on the Executive Chairperson of the Federal Character Commission, Dr. Muyeebat Dankaka.
Saka said the issue has degenerated to a witch-hunt, because Dankaka’s organisation has been picked for such, with different stories emanating from the FCC as a result of a gang-up of some commissioners.
According to him, it was uncharitable for the committee to go to the media to soil the image of the FCC boss when the investigation was still ongoing.
He said it was enamoured that the committee members did not take notice of the federal commissioners of Osun and Lagos states, who ambushed the former staff of the agency, Haruna Kolo, when he arrived at the premises of the National Assembly, with threats and inducements.
The group, therefore, called on the committee to tow the path of professionalism, and stop the witch-hunt and media trial of Dankaka, claiming she has the right to protect her office against “savages and hawks.” ]
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