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Applicants in wheelchairs applied for NSCDC job – Aregbesola

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed that many unqualified Nigerians applied for the recently concluded recruitment into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence…

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed that many unqualified Nigerians applied for the recently concluded recruitment into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He said some applicants came in wheelchairs demanding slots from the 5000 vacant positions.

Sola Fasure, the media adviser to the minister, said in a statement on Wednesday that Aregbesola disclosed this at the Policy Dialogue on Entrenching Transparency in Public Service Recruitment in Nigeria, organised by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, an institution of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Relates Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the recently concluded NSCDC recruitment was one of the fairest and most transparent in recent time, despite the huge number of applicants who applied for the few positions available.

According to him, about 1.5 million Nigerians applied for the 5000 NSCDC jobs.

The Minister who revealed the process was long and tortuous, however, stated that the recruitment exercise was a novelty that came with a lot of pressure.

“A woman came with her son after getting very high up people to influence his appointment. But we discovered that the son was far, far below the required height of 1.7 metres.

“Some applicants on wheelchairs also came, demanding the statutory five per cent allocation for special people.

“We politely explained to them that the job is paramilitary, requiring strenuous physical exercise for which they are not eligible, given their physical condition.

“One of the lessons we learnt, which we have always known anyway, is that there is no part of this country where we cannot get merit if we want the best.

“We got people from all parts of the country who are qualified, including females, as certified by the Federal Character Commission that was part of the process from the beginning to the end,” the Minister noted.

Speaking during his address, the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, noted that the event was the third in the series and germane in the fight against corruption.

“You will agree with me that the theme for today, ‘Entrenching Transparency in Public Service Recruitment’, is very germane in the fight against corruption and more importantly, they contribute towards the attainment of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) one of whose objectives is promoting an improved legal, policy, and regulatory environment for the fight against corruption.

“Indiscriminate recruitment has impacted personnel budget such that government personnel wage bill has continued to rise geometrically almost doubling between 2015 and 2022 from N1.832trn in 2015 to N3.494trn in 2022,” the ICPC chairman noted.

‘Over 1000 people carry fake employment letters’
In her keynote address, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Esan, campaigned for more transparency in the recruitment process of all government agencies.

“Transparency in recruitment is a matter that elicits interest because some people for some incorrect reasons think public sector jobs are somehow better than jobs in other sectors.

“In fact, according to a 2021 Q3 report, Agriculture, Trade and Manufacturing stand as the highest employers of labour in Nigeria.

“In March 2021, my office reported to the ICPC that in a particular Ministry, over 1,000 people were carrying fake employment letters and are already enrolled on the IPPIS platform and are drawing salaries from the Federal Government.

She however listed the measures being put in place to ensure transparency in recruitment and also delist those found wanting or parading fake employment letters.

“Just yesterday, the Civil Service Commission sent us a list of 500 people parading fake employment letters and recommended that their salaries be stopped.

“A list of another 3,000 was forwarded for their salaries to be stopped until their certificates and letter of appointments are verified,” the Head of Service stated.

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