From Lateef Taiwo
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating employment racketeering by Ministries Departments and Agencies and Mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, has grilled the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede over lopsided employment in the agency.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi who stated this during a resumed investigative hearing of his committee maintained that MDAs who recruit without advertisement have contravened extant laws.
The Chairman of the Committee also advised JAMB Chief Executive Officer against failure to advertise vacancies noting that such a process could sideline many Nigerian citizens from recruitment into civil service.
Recalled that Prof Oleyede had appeared before the Ad-hoc Committee on invitation even as he told members that they did not advertise vacancies positions of 300 staff recently recruited because they wanted to meet up with the timeline for the exercise.
Prof Olarewaju while reacting to questions by lawmakers on several persons engaged in his agency explained that 42 drivers and other personnel numbering 150 were recruited.
JAMB boss equally informed lawmakers that over 1700 ad-hoc staff were recruited because of the exigencies in the establishment.
Responding to questions on the selection process to engage professionally qualified personnel, the Registrar explained that those recruited in his agency were qualified for the work claiming that nobody was surcharged in the process.
He also informed that some governors in the South-South political zone of the country were contacted for their input to get qualified candidates from the zone.
Meanwhile, JAMB also used the opportunity to clarify to lawmakers the credibility of those they engaged maintaining that no Nigerian was surcharged.
The explanation by JAMB did not go down well with lawmakers who expressed worry that JAMB’s refusal to advertise before recruitment might deny many qualified Nigerians the opportunity to apply for those vacancies.
The Committee also frowned at variations in the figure presented by the JAMB prompting lawmakers to direct JAMB to submit all the nominal roles to them.
He also blamed JAMB for alleged connivance with the FCC and other agencies to promote and encourage job racketeering in the country.
The House probe panel also demanded that the agency immediately submits to it the list of all staff employed between 2015- 2023 while decrying the lack of adherence to extant regulations of the nation’s public service on the matter.
Lawmakers said that based on documents available to them, the examination body had been undertaking employment without due process of advertisement and shortlisting qualified job seekers before letters are issued.
The lawmakers noted that the agency had been getting waivers for the recruitment of staff yet it failed to adhere to the provisions of the law on non-engagement of more than 100 staff annually disclosing that the examination body in 2021 employed more than 300 staff in a single recruitment exercise without adhering to the extant provision of law on the issue.
He equally explained that employment recently conducted by his board was a result of the urgent need to fill vacancies in the over 40 offices across states of the federation, claiming that most of those engaged were after due consultation with governors.
But the Committee Chairman Hon.Gagdi in sharp disagreement with the JAMB boss urged for immediate submission of the nominal roll of its staff recruited from 2015-2023 until date.
The Committee also took oral testimonies from many witnesses such as Badamasi Jalo, Abdulaziz Azara, Musa Ibrahim and two other victims of employment racketeering by the former Desk Officer of the Federal Character Commission FCC but currently working with Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCOM.
In his presentation before the House probe panel, Mr Jalo said that Kolo collected N1.2 Million from him for IPPIS capturing and asked him to look for other persons to be employed in another public agency.
The panel during the final submission maintained that Haruna Kolo, the Director of IPPIS in the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation and the other major accused persons named in the saga must unfailingly appear to testify before them before they conclude the investigative hearing.