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Senate investigates lopsidedness in recruitment, deployment by Civil Service Commission

By Haruna Salami

The Senate has mandated its Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to carry out a “holistic investigation” on the lopsidedness and emerging infractions in the recruitment and deployment of officers by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and come out with appropriate recommendations.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion on “Urgent need to ensure federal character principle, in the FCSC sponsored by Senator Zam, Titus Tartenger (Benue North West).

Zam noted that the FCSC, which was established with the responsibilities of recruitment and deployment of officers with requisite qualifications into the federal civil service, has deviated from the federal character principle that ensures equity and fairness to all parts of the country.

He said the major plank on which the commission seeks to realize its vision of building a highly focused, disciplined, committed and patriotic civil service is the advertisement that counter-productive malady to favour certain groups and not consistent with the Commission’s vision, seems to have recently crept into the commission as allegations of illegal recruitment or employment in the service is been reported.

He regretted that “this debilitating syndrome has so permeated the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that virtually no ministry seems to be insulated from this ugly trend”.

He recalled that the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, speaking with journalists in July, ahead of the 2023 Civil Service Week, announced that the Federal government had discovered 1,618 civil servants with fake employment letters”.

Zam said his Benue North West senatorial district has been marginalized, shortchanged and neglected in the employment into the federal civil service, which explains why he sponsored the motion.

He disturbed that, whereas the introduction of the IPPIS meant to curtail and ultimately, eliminate illegalities in the civil/public service, in terms of human resource and payroll, human factor in its application seem to be jeopardizing this noble objective of government;

“Regrets also that employees of government are capitalizing on insider abuse to undermine the efficiency of the IP’TIS and to perpetrate unwholesome activities, resulting in cases of ‘salary paddings’, ghost names in government payrolls, among others;

“Further recalls that in December 2021, a particular Ministry of the Federal Government alone weeded out a total of 1,020 of such illegally employed staff with over 300 employment letters further sent to be authenticated by the Federal Civil Service Commission;

“Strongly argues that the mere removal of such names from payroll without prosecution will not deter those corruptly feasting from this exercise at the expense of a virile civil service backed up by a sound and foolproof IPPIS; and

“Convinced that if urgent action is not taken to ensure Federal Character Principle and curb lopsidedness will weaken the cohesion of the Civil Service with its attendant damage to governance and service delivery”.