OrderPaperToday – The federal government has banned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from charging application fees from job seekers.

This was disclosed by Mrs Oluwatosin Bodunde, Director Legal and  Prosecution, Federal Character Commission at a public hearing on “Extortion of employment seekers by government agencies” hosted by the House of Representatives Committee on , Employment and Productivity during the week in Abuja.

Mrs. Bodunde said the commission had put in place measures to prevent MDAs from collecting money from Job seekers, saying a “circular was sent to MDAs from the Federal Character Commission, dated August 13, 2014 signed by the Chairman.

“We have advised all MDAs to include money for recruitment in their budget so as to avoid collecting money from job seekers.”

Also speaking at the event, Mr Clement Assam, Legal Adviser, Federal Civil Service Commission, informed that the body  had made available forms for all job seekers on its  website as part of measures to address unemployment and accessibility to job opportunities in the public service.

He said that the forms were meant for job seekers to fill and submit to the commission, saying: “In the past we have had challenges of where unemployed people have it difficult to access the Civil Service form, but we have decided to make it easy for all by providing it online so every one can have access to the forms.”

Speaking at the hearing, Mr. Francis Ezenwa, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, said Nigeria had one of the highest rates of unemployment which has reduced the purchasing power of the citizens.

“There is an urgent need to address the issue. Government need to revisit employment measures,” he said.

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