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NNPC’s experienced hire recruitment leaves applicants in the ‘dark’

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Group Managing Director NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari PHOTO: Twitter

It is over one year and six months since 60,000 applicants sat for the recruitment examination of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for graduate trainee and experienced hire cadre.

The recruitment process, however, remains incomplete despite the NNPC announcing that shortlisted candidates will be contacted ‘soon’ since December 2019.

Some of those who wrote the recruitment test said the government-owned oil corporation has been filling the vacant positions secretly.

“We are unaware of what is happening to our recruitment,” Shafiu Tunde, the leader of a group of experienced hire cadre candidates told The Guardian. “This is against the transparency promised to Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

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He said it is disappointing that a parastatal under Buhari’s direct supervision as the minister of petroleum can unilaterally take decisions that are ‘inimical and contrary to the loft vision’ of the government to create jobs and reduce youth unemployment.

NNPC spokesman Kenny Obateru declined to comment on the matter. Calls and text messages sent to his phone were unreplied at the time of filing this report.

How it started
Tunde and thousands of persons applied for the experienced hire and graduate trainee section of the NNPC programme from June 2019. They wrote the recruitment test which was supervised by the managing director Mele Kyari.

NNPC disclosed that over 60,000 candidates were shortlisted in an ‘open and transparent manner’ in the exams monitored by leading Nigerian television stations.

“After assessment, about 10,000 candidates passed the test and were scheduled for interviews between July 1 and 10, 2019 at the NNPC Towers Abuja conducted by the different corporation’s technical panels,” NNPC said in July 2019.

The NNPC in a circular said that the list of shortlisted candidates will be announced in December 2019.

Over a year since the examinations, they are left in the dark amidst claims that they could have been replaced by persons with the backing of influential government officials.

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But a source within the government agency said that NNPC may have deviated from continuing the recruitment exercise due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The source stated that it is unrealistic for the NNPC to conclude the experienced hired recruitment because the oil industry was badly-hit during and after the lockdown with the Nigerian economy in a recession.

The successful applicant should have been contacted, the source said.

Our grievances – applicants
The applicants said while those who applied as graduate trainees had already been employed, others who applied for the experienced hire category had not been contacted by the NNPC since June 2019 when they sat for the exams.

Unsatisfied by NNPC’s silence, the applicants wrote to Buhari, the National Assembly, and the minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Sylva to direct the NNPC to conclude the recruitment exercise by contacting all successful candidates based on merit.

Tunde said the experienced hire applicants are treated in a manner that suggests there is an attempt to “truncate the process, dash the hopes of young Nigerian professionals and replace most of the successful candidates with backdoor people.”

Another applicant alleged that some ‘internal staff’ in the NNPC “that neither applied to any of the positions nor participated in the processes of CBT and interviews” were being used to replace them.

They appealed to government authorities to prevail on Kyari to release the interview outcome for the remaining experienced hire cadre immediately.


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