Startling reports indicate that many federal government parastatals – including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Prisons Service – have been dogged by recruitment scandals.
A document showed that following a review carried out by the Ministry of Finance, 183 out of 185 MDAs had recruited 13,780 staff in recent years.
Out of this number, 6,917 were recruited without any formal approval; 2,314 were employed by seven universities with governing council approval; only while 4,549 had correctly obtained approval from the Office of the Head of Service and Federal Character Commission.
The review showed that out of the 185 agencies, only the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army sought approval for their recruitment.
A report prepared by the panel was forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari before he travelled to the United Kingdom for medical treatment asking that the MDAs be ordered to follow due process.
It was gathered that the President ordered the Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation to carry out an investigation, while also placing a ban on recruitment without approval.
One of the officials involved in the recruitment recounted that, under the pretext of replacing workers that had either resigned or were given the boot, the 183 agencies carried out mass recruitment without following due process.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak to the press said, “The worst culprits are universities, hospitals and the Nigerian Prisons Service. One university in Nasarawa recruited 800 people without due process while another hospital hired 200 without approval.
Sources in the government admitted that illegal hiring makes it difficult to sanitise the payroll and control personnel cost.
A senior government official said a lot of nepotism was involved and added that the illegal recruitment was one of the reasons there were regional imbalances in employment of civil servants.
“More important, the recruitment is without reference to budgetary provisions, hence leading to the risk of unpaid salaries and the need for virement which increases payroll cost,” the official stated.