Recruitment Cartel in FCSC

The ordeal of no fewer than 71 accountants who were recruited by the
Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), Abuja, and put on the fringe
for two years before they were finally given sacked letters, are still
in state of shock and like a bad dream refusing to go away.
Their ordeal started in 2014, when they responded to recruitment
advertisement by the FCSC. Subsequently, they were invited for
interview, screened and those who passed the exercise were given
letters of employment.
And they were deployed to the Office of the Accountant of the
Federation (OAGF) for posting to various government ministries,
departments and parastatals.
For two years, they floated between the FCSC and OAGF without their
names in the payroll of the federal government.
It was not until June this year; that they were given the greatest
shock of their lives. Out of the blues, they were given letters of
sack.
In an earlier petition against the Chairman of FCSC, Deaconess Joan
Ayo and Accountant General of Federal, Ahmed Idris, the dismissed
accountants asserted that were made to pass through the necessary
exercises as required by the civil service rule. At the OFAG, they
were equally documented, waiting for orders from the FCSC to be
posted.
They said in the petition: “We were offered career civil service
appointment of the Federal Government through the Federal Civil
Service Commission (FCSC) as Accountants on different levels for the
office of the Accountant General of the Federation via offer letters
issued by the FCSC in 2014 and signed by the Director (Recruitment and
Appointment) for Chairman FCSC.
“Both the office of the Head of Service of the Federation and that of
the Accountant General were appropriately notified.
“In compliance with the civil service practice, all necessary
documentations and medicals on us were concluded by the office of the
Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) at their pace in May 2015
and we were appropriately listed for further postings to place of
primary assignment. We were equally given our respective file and
staff numbers.
“Since that May 2015, we have been resuming at the office of the
Accountant General in fulfillment of the employment contract already
in place but the AGF has willfully failed to approve our posting in
spite of our everyday presence and request. They kept on appealing to
us to have patience and that they are preparing new intake induction
programme.
“Curiously, about a week ago (sic, June), we got the rudest shock that
our appointment has been declared irregular and revoked by the
Chairman Federal Civil Service Commission. This action is malicious,
insensitive and the height of injustice on which we appeal to your
good office not to be allowed to stand based on the following:
“The appointment followed due process and Letters of Appointment
legally and legitimately issued and signed by the Director
(Recruitment and Appointment) of the Federal Civil Service Commission
for The Chairman, FCSC.
“The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation wrote to FCSC
to confirm the authenticity of the offers which the FCSC confirmed via
their Letter References (copy attached).
“The office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation also
carried out a verification exercise on each of us during Personnel
Data Revalidation Exercise and issued to each of us Clearance
Certificate in May 2015.
“The FCSC again re-verified each of us as employees of the Federal
Government of Nigeria and issued us with IPPIS validation receipt in
2015. It is therefore, sheer fraud, ineptitude and indeed inhuman for
the same Chairman of Federal Civil Service Commission to say their
(FCSC) action is irregular and revoke our appointments after being on
this course for close to two years.
“Some of our colleagues who are either children of the Directors at
the OAGF/FCSC or their close relations have been surreptitiously
posted by the AGF.
“Meanwhile, they have their names confirmed by the FCSC with our own
at the same time”, the petition alleged.
Findings by The Street Journal, however, indicated the accountants may
have been victims of political intrigues and an organised recruitment
ring that exists within the commission.
At OAGF, it was gathered, that it has no other role in the matter than
to obey orders from FCSC as it has no power to employ or fire officers
above level seven.
According to a source in the OAGF, “Our role in the whole saga is
merely to obey orders as we cannot high any worker above level seven.
We can only employ junior workers say from level one to six, anything
above that is always done by the FCSC.
“We were just obeying orders. When they came here we screened and
documented them as required by the civil service rule, we were about
deploying them and putting them on the payroll, when we were told to
stay action. So it been at this level until were also told by the FCSC
to give them sack letters”
Asked if they ever requested for the workers, the source said they never did.
Explaining further how recruitment is carried out in the civil
service, the source said, “Normally, when there is vacancy for
graduates, we send a request to the Commission intimating them of the
existing vacancies because we don’t have the power to hire senior
officers. The FCSC will recruit, based on existing laid down rules,
and send to us. Then we now post them to the various units where their
service is needed. But unfortunately this was not the case as regard
the sacked workers. We never requested for them but suddenly they were
sent to us. As civil servants we don’t have a say as such, we obeyed
until the same FCSC asked us to sack them.”
At the FCSC, Abuja, The Street Journal, was told earlier that they
were laid off because their appointments were in irregular and
unauthorised.
Head Press and Public Relations, Dr. J. O. Oruche, in a written
response to our inquiries, said their appointments were terminated
because they were not backed by approved declared vacancies, in which
case, government does not have financial proviso for them.
He stated further: “On issue under reference, the Commission has
discovered a lot of irregular appointments which are not backed by
approved declared vacancies.
“All appointment letters have stipulated validity period of two months
within which they must be accepted failing which the offer will lapse.
“Where some were backed by approval declared vacancies, the offers
were not accepted within the stipulated time of two months.
“The Commission also observed that some letters were outrightly faked
and some of these faked ones are under instigation.”
Oruche, who said he would not entertain questions outside the written
response, emphasised that all the letters involved were temporary
letters of appointment and there is a long process between offer of
temporal appointment and gazetting or confirmation, and in between,
even regular appointment can be terminated, let alone irregular ones.
However, there were questions begging for answers. For instance, why
were they recruited in the first place when there was no corresponding
vacancies in the OAGF and ‘no financial proviso’ for them?
Now that the Commission is saying, some came in with forged letters of
employment as what point was this discovered?
If the validity of appointment letter last for two months, why were
they made to wait for two years, wasting their time, money and energy
going to resume every day at the OAGF for two years?
Investigations, however, revealed that the recruitment was carried at
the height of impunity by the political class.
There were indications that the employment was carried out for
political reasons and the Commission was pressurised by politicians to
carry out the employment when there was no need to it.
In the course of investigation, it was observed that a particular
section of the country was more favoured than the rest, in the whole
exercise and immediately Muhammadu Buhari came in preaching austerity
measures, the Commission seized the opportunity, selected few for
comfirmation and asked others to go without any form of compensation.
An insider, at the Commission told this paper, that the FCSC may not be telling all it knows about the matter.
“Look, before recruitment is done, all Commissioners, about six of them (one each from the six geopolitical zones) and the Chairman of Commission, Deaconess John Ayo, are involved from the beginning to the end. If they are saying that some of the sacked accountants are with fake employment letter after screening and documentation, something good is wrong.
“The question is who’s reeled them in the first place, for two year, they didn’t detect this, Why will they play with the future of these young Nigerians, when they did no wrong in this matter”

Author: News Editor

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