Senate admits seeking jobs from MDAs for legislators’ cronies
The Senate yesterday clarified the recruitment scandal that attracted criticisms to its leadership last October.It argued that there was nothing wrong in putting up a system that allows senators to source jobs for their constituents and cronies through one of its committees.Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs,
Danjuma La’ah confirmed that the committee was actually being used to share jobs sourced by the Senate.Speaking with journalists in an interview at the National Assembly, La’ah stated: “There is nothing wrong in senators approaching the committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs to seek job placements for their unemployed constituents.
“It is normal for legislators to come to our committee because it is a better way to go about it. What our committee does is to ensure that all senatorial districts are equally captured in whatever arrangement that come up. It is not as if we are giving out letters of employment to anyone now.”
He explained that if any senator approaches the committee and there was an opportunity, it helped, saying, “The senators come to us because we are the only committee that ensures even spread in terms of federal appointments.”He further confirmed that the Senate has been inviting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for questioning on their recruitment processes.
“The MDAs have been honouring our invitations to explain the recruitment exercises they carried out. We have told them to adhere strictly to the federal character principles. We have also told them to always carry the Federal Character Commission along before they finalise any internal recruitments,” he added.It would be recalled that shortly after its inauguration, a recruitment scandal broke in the Senate in which its leadership was accused of having diverted 190 job slots from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
As several senators protested the anomaly, the Ahmed Lawan leadership of the upper legislative chamber was said to have directed the Federal Character Committee to initiate moves with other MDAs to source job slots for subsequent sharing among senators.The Guardian learnt that so far every Senator has benefited at least three slots through the La’ah committee.Interestingly, it was the same La’ah’s committee that threatened to investigate the job recruitment scandal and sanction defaulting agencies last October.