Reps panel queries JAMB over ‘illegal’ recruitment, entertains confessions of ghost workers
The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee probing employment racketeering in Federal Government agencies, yesterday, queried the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for allegedly recruiting 300 staff from 2015 till date without advertising the vacancies.
The panel held that by not advertising the openings, ordinary Nigerians had been robbed of the opportunity to get employment.
Chairman of the committee, Yussuf Gagdi, expressed his displeasure when JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, appeared before the lawmakers in Abuja.
He maintained that recruiting about 300 staff through waiver was against the federal character, adding that a waiver is to be granted only if an agency is collapsing.
Gagdi lamented that the board had shortchanged many Nigerians in need of a job.
He added that available data showed that the examination body in 2021 employed more than 300 staff in one swoop without adhering to extant law.
Defending JAMB’s action, Oloyede said his organisation deferred to the federal character principle in the recruitment exercises conducted from 2015 till date.
According to him, the board got a waiver from the relevant agencies to employ replacements, adding that JAMB conducted five sets of recruitment in the period under review.
On why the organisation sought waiver to recruit over 300 people instead of advertising, the Registrar, said it was due to exigencies, as they had about 12 to 13 new centres that urgently needed people to man them.
IN a similar vein, 14 persons have told the lower legislative chamber’s panel investigating job racketeering at the Federal Character Commission (FCC) that they had been receiving salaries from the Federal Government without job placements.
They said the salaries were paid on the platform of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
The beneficiaries also informed the committee that they allegedly paid money to one Mr. Haruna Kolo, former FCC’s IPPIS Desk Officer and Chief of Protocol to the FCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Dankaka for the consideration.
One of them, Mr. Gbadamosi Jalo, said Kolo reportedly took him to the IPPIS office and registered him on its portal, adding that he had been receiving salaries since then.
He said he had not been assigned to any ministry, department or agency, though he received an appointment letter supposedly issued by the National Institute of Oceanography.
In his testimony, a potential beneficiary of the racket, Mr. Musa Ibrahim, claimed paying money to one Mr. Abdullahi Azareh, who acted as the linkman to FCC commissioner representing Nasarawa State.
He said though the police in Nasarawa State arrested Azareh after a barrage of complaints and petitions, he was released upon intervention by FCC commissioners.
Chairman of the committee, Gagdi, observed earlier that the witnesses were invited after the panel got to know about their statements of account and related payment following receipt of their petitions.
He noted that while the committee was not a prosecuting agency, it would get to the root of the matter and recommend appropriate sanctions.
The chairman berated IPPIS for its porousity.
“If Kolo was finding it easy to go to IPPIS to register payees without the knowledge of authorising officers, the IPPIS needed to answer a lot of questions,” he stated.
Gagdi promised that the committee would scrutinize the bank accounts of all FCC commissioners and that of those serving as their go-between.
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