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Secret Recruitment In Contravention of the Federal Character Act Rocks National Population Commission

The National Population Commission (NPC) has suspended a controversial secret recruitment of 184 staff, which was done without advertisement as required by the Federal Character Act, a federal commissioner representing Edo state, Dr. Tunde Lakoju said yesterday.

The commission had embarked on a secret recruitment to replace about 86 exited staff. But the exercise generated internal wrangling after some officials were said to have hijacked the process and shared the slots amongst themselves in disregard of due process.

Officials at the commission also violated a waiver from the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to replace 86 staff by going ahead to recruit 184 staff.

Dr. Lakoju said the exercise has been called off because “some of our staff at the lower level just went and did what they wanted without adherence to the approval given for the recruitment by the FCC. The Chairman and the Director General were not aware and we did not want to witness the kind of scandal in other agencies, so the entire process has been called off.”

He said a committee has been set up to review the recruitment process and will report back in one week saying “we want to do the right thing because you cannot build on zero. What they did was wrong and thank God those recruited through the back door, though they have been issued with appointment letters, but they have not been issued with letters of clearance and they have not been uploaded to the pay system (IPPS).”

Our reporter gathered that the commission had recruited 184 staff on grade level 07 to 09. A letter by the FCC dated August 16, signed by acting secretary to the commission, J.C. Umeh gave go ahead for the replacement to be done secretly.

An official of the population commission, who spoke off record said though the commission had permission to replace 86 exited staff “they were mainly at top senior levels, but by law we cannot employ people above grade level 09 without advertisement and we needed more staff at level 07 to 09.

“So, we asked for approval from the budget office and they said we can go ahead but it must be within our budget for salaries. That was how the number was increased from 86 to 184 and we can take care of that number with our 2016 salary allocation without seeking for any additional money from the budget office.”

A source at the commission had told Daily Trust that the commission secretly recruited about 400 staff saying “they shared the slots amongst themselves and they also gave out a number of spaces to officials at the FCC and the budget office.” The source said the political heads of the commission disagreed over the number of slots issued each commissioner and that may have led to suspension of the exercise.By Abdul-Rahman Abubakar

The National Population Commission (NPC) has suspended a controversial secret recruitment of 184 staff, which was done without advertisement as required by the Federal Character Act, a federal commissioner representing Edo state, Dr. Tunde Lakoju said yesterday.
The commission had embarked on a secret recruitment to replace about 86 exited staff. But the exercise generated internal wrangling after some officials were said to have hijacked the process and shared the slots amongst themselves in disregard of due process.
Officials at the commission also violated a waiver from the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to replace 86 staff by going ahead to recruit 184 staff.

Dr. Lakoju said the exercise has been called off because “some of our staff at the lower level just went and did what they wanted without adherence to the approval given for the recruitment by the FCC. The Chairman and the Director General were not aware and we did not want to witness the kind of scandal in other agencies, so the entire process has been called off.”

He said a committee has been set up to review the recruitment process and will report back in one week saying “we want to do the right thing because you cannot build on zero. What they did was wrong and thank God those recruited through the back door, though they have been issued with appointment letters, but they have not been issued with letters of clearance and they have not been uploaded to the pay system (IPPS).”

Our reporter gathered that the commission had recruited 184 staff on grade level 07 to 09. A letter by the FCC dated August 16, signed by acting secretary to the commission, J.C. Umeh gave go ahead for the replacement to be done secretly.

An official of the population commission, who spoke off record said though the commission had permission to replace 86 exited staff “they were mainly at top senior levels, but by law we cannot employ people above grade level 09 without advertisement and we needed more staff at level 07 to 09.

“So, we asked for approval from the budget office and they said we can go ahead but it must be within our budget for salaries. That was how the number was increased from 86 to 184 and we can take care of that number with our 2016 salary allocation without seeking for any additional money from the budget office.”

A source at the commission had told Daily Trust that the commission secretly recruited about 400 staff saying “they shared the slots amongst themselves and they also gave out a number of spaces to officials at the FCC and the budget office.” The source said the political heads of the commission disagreed over the number of slots issued each commissioner and that may have led to suspension of the exercise.

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