Senate interrogates FCC over alleged secret recruitment

⦁ As FCC says it’s aware and investigating allegation

Issues around alleged secret recruitment in some federal agencies dominated Monday budget defence session as Senators threw a barrage of questions on representatives of the Federal Character Commission who were in the Senate to defend their 2020 budget proposals.

Secretary of the Federal Character Commission had led the management team to the budget defence session with the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, when the  Chairman, Senator Danjuma La’ah, asked the Secretary of the Commission Mohammed Tukur, to explain if he was aware of recruitment exercises in federal agencies.

The senators sought to know if the employment in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was in compliance with due process.

The representative of the Commission said the Commission was aware and has begun an investigation into the alleged recruitment exercise and would make it’s findings available to the Senate when completed.

Fielding questions from journalists after the session with senators, Tukur said: “Some members of the Senate Committee raised the issue of the recruitment exercises going on particularly the one of an agency and we said the issue is being addressed. All other issues that were brought to the attention of the commission are actually being addressed.

“Normally before any recruitment could take place,  it has to pass through four stages. There must be approval from the office of the Head of Service,  and there must be budgetary approval from the budget office.

“Then you will come to the Federal Character Commission for the Character Balancing Index which would indicate the states that should be prioritised and those that should not be prioritised.

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“This is because states that are under-represented in that agency that is recruiting would be addressed. It is after this had been done that you will go back to the Accountant General who will give you the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System number platform as directed by the President.

“It is not one agency affair. In some of the agencies, you don’t need to go to the office of the Accountant General to recruit. We attend to all issues brought before us and we ensure that justice, fairness and equity are reflected in our reports.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs,  Senator Danjuma La’ah,  assured Nigerians that all affected agencies would be invited to hear their sides of the story as soon as investigations were concluded.

His words: “I have gone deep in the investigation and I’m doing everything possible to get facts. I will give the necessary updates and information when we conclude our findings.

“You can see that my members were agitated, trying to raise their voices but I asked them to take it easy and let us get to the root of the matter.

“If we are able to prove our case beyond reasonable doubts after our preliminary investigations, then we will start our probe by inviting the affected agencies.

“I’m aware that many Nigerians are worried and they want to know what is happening on the matter. Justice would definitely be done and we would expose all culprits.”

It would be recalled that the Senate Committee chairman senate had lamented what he described as secret recruitment into federal agencies without compliance with due process.

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