The Senate has alleged that the Federal Civil Service is engaging in secret employment of persons despite the reported embargo placed on the recruitment of Nigerians.
Senator Danjuma La’ah, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character Commission and Inter-Governmental Affairs, made the claim while speaking at the 2022 budget report defence before the Appropriation Committee of the upper legislative chamber.
Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Emloyment, had in August this year, said the Federal Government placed an embargo on employment because the economy was not in good shape.
The minister said this when he received the traditional ruler of Nnewi town, Igwe Kenneth Orizu (III), who paid him a courtesy visit and had requested that he (Ngige) help secure jobs for young graduates from the town
But according to La’ah, some officials in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are utilising the embargo situation to secretly employ people into the civil service.
The senator said his committee has compelled all the to commence the recruitment of qualified Nigerians into the civil service.
He also stated that the committee urged MDAs to increase their personnel cost with a view to opening up spaces for the employment of jobless Nigerians, instead of continuing with the purported secret employment process.
He said: “Some people are taking advantage of the situation (embargo on employment) but our committee is desirous to doing the right thing.
“We are determined that there are jobs for the graduates we have in this country, no matter what it takes.
“We discovered that young Nigerians who graduated from higher institutions some 15 years ago had yet to gain employment.
“The development had aggravated insecurity all over the places including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
“Our committee has been going to ministries, departments and agencies of government that they must start recruitment instead of doing secret replacements.
“We had even asked them to increase the personnel cost in their budgets so that they could employ people.
“Many people are being secretly employed but those in charge are claiming that there is embargo on employment. I don’t know where they got that from.
“We have been asking them. The President has not opened his mouth to say that there is embargo on employment.
“There is no embargo anywhere but some of the officials of government are so myopic that they decide to take advantage of the situation.
“I have been challenging those who are engaging in secret recruitments claiming there is embargo to show us where they got the information from.
“This is the time for them to increase their personnel cost and make provision for employment.
“People are retiring voluntarily but we don’t know how they are being replaced. We must know the particular number of people they want to employ.”