A job vacancy website opened by the Federal Ministry of Interior is aiding recruitment racketeering, the chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Professor Shuaibu Abdulraheem Oba, has said.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday at the commencement of a two-day public hearing organized by the Senate Joint Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs and Labour and Employment investigating the alleged employment irregularities in federal establishments in the last two years, Oba described the website as a major source of the job-for-sale scam.
"A website opened by the ministry of interior has become a source of recruitment scam. This is an official website asking job applicants to submit their curriculum vitae. This has the capability of making applicants fall prey to fraudsters," he said.
He said because of greed and lack of patriotism, many chief executives of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are into clandestine recruitment exercises with their agents hiding under the cover of "job replacement" and the recruitment of casual and temporary workers.
"Recruiting agencies have opened offices to issue fake appointment letters. The law enforcement agencies should be called upon to fish out those behind this. Employment is a serious matter in this country, and if wrongly conducted, is a threat to national unity because it'd generate discontentment among various groups," Oba said.
The FCC boss also faulted the recruitment exercise of 6,000 officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
The FRSC's representative at the hearing, Mr A.A. Abu, had claimed that the FCC issued the certificate of compliance for the recruitment exercise of the 6,000 officers hired from 2010 to 2012.
But on sighting the certificate, Oba said "this certificate was issued in October 2011, it does not cover the recruitment done in 2012. I've no report that 6,000 officers were recruited in 2012," Oba said.
The chairman of the panel, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, said records available to the committee had shown that in 2011 alone, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) discovered over 500 illegal recruits, the Nigeria Police Force sacked over 700 policemen for recruitment scandals in 2012; while in the recent past, the FRSC had dismissed many officers discovered to have been illegally recruited through "an active connivance with some officers extorting money from applicants."
Earlier, Senate President David Mark alleged that all heads of federal establishments were guilty of recruitment scam, saying "we're concerned that people in positions of authority think first about their immediate relations, other extended family members and not the best and most competent. Most heads of federal establishments secure for their relations, unwarranted advantaged favour which they're not ordinarily legally or morally entitled to. This is a manifestation of a corrupt society where there is no equity or fairness. Heads of MDAs, military and paramilitary organisations are all guilty of this. This has killed the patriotism in us.
"What is more worrisome is that employment into federal establishments is for the highest bidder. Our newspapers are awash with allegations that there are agents in and outside these establishments who facilitate the sales of job slots. And the desperate applicants sell their property to by these slots. And for our leaders of tomorrow to buy jobs portents a dangerous signal for the future generation," Mark said.