Senate to probe illegal employment in Federal civil service commission

Sharon EboesomiNovember 7, 20234 min

The motion sponsor warned that if urgent action is not taken, lopsided employment will weaken the cohesion of the Civil Service with its attendant damage to governance and service delivery.

The Senate has directed its Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Committee on Employment, Labour, and Productivity and the Committee on Federal Character to carry out a holistic Investigation on the illegal employment by the Federal Civil Service Commission officers.

The directive is contained in a motion on the “Urgent Need to ensure Federal Character Principle, Curb Lopsidedness and Emerging Infractions in the Recruitment and Deployment of Officers by the Federal Civil Service Commission and Related Agencies,” at Tuesday’s plenary.

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Titus Zam Tartenger (APC, Benue North West) noted that the Federal Civil Service Commission was created to handle the hiring and posting of officers with the necessary credentials into the federal civil service.

 Zam noted that the commission’s main strategy for achieving its goal of creating a highly devoted, focused, disciplined, and patriotic civil service is to promote job openings to ultimately and fairly recruit candidates for the service.

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He, however, expressed concern over what he described as the unproductive approach favoring some groups which are inconsistent with the Commission’s objective, appearing to have recently crept into the organisation, as reports of unlawful hiring and recruitment into the service have surfaced.

The lawmaker noted that almost no ministry appears to be exempt from this unpleasant trend given how deeply the debilitating syndrome has penetrated the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

“While speaking with journalists in July, ahead of the 2023 Civil Service Week, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, announced that the Federal government had discovered about 1,618 civil servants with fake employment letters.

“The introduction of the IPPIS meant to curtail and ultimately, eliminate illegalities in the civil/public service, in terms of human resource and payroll, human factor in its application seems to be jeopardizing this noble objective of government.

“Employees of the government are capitalizing on insider abuse to undermine the efficiency of the IPPIS and to perpetrate unwholesome activities, resulting in cases of ‘salary paddings’, ghost names in government payrolls, among others.”

Zam, who is the Chairman Committee on Rules and Business, further disclosed that in December 2021, a particular Ministry of the Federal Government alone weeded out a total of 1,020 of such illegally employed staff with over 300 employment letters further sent to be authenticated by the Federal Civil Service Commission.

The mere removal of such names from payroll without prosecution will not deter those corruptly feasting from this exercise at the expense of a virile civil service backed up by a sound and foolproof IPPIS.”

He warned that if urgent action is not taken to ensure Federal Character Principle and curb lopsidedness will weaken the cohesion of the Civil Service with its attendant damage to governance and service delivery.

Supporting the motion, Senator Neda Imasuen (LP, Edo South) bemoaned how these actions have affected those who do not have “connections” to assist them with employment.

“It appears that some of these MDAs bypass these agencies and continue to employ people on their own and going against the commission vision creating inequality. Some of these people employed are not even qualified and they come with fake certificates and they can do that because they go through the back door to gain employment.”

Others who supported this motion are Senators Amos Yohanna (PDP, Adamawa North) and Ekong Samson (PDP, Akwa-Ibom South)

 

Sharon Eboesomi

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