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Senate Panel under pressure to drop investigation into alleged lopsided recruitment in agencies

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ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja

Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs is under intense pressure to drop the investigation of alleged lopsided recruitment by about 15 government agencies, our correspondent has learnt.

The Committee had vowed last week to investigate ongoing recruitment exercise in some Federal Government agencies.

Among the agencies that will be affected are Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), National Open University (NOUN), Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Rural Electrification Agency and Nigerian Navy.

But there is intense pressure to jettison the planned investigation of affected agencies as the Chairman of the Committee is silent on the investigation.

A source in the Senate revealed that some of the agencies have vowed not to appear before the Committee for the investigation.

It was gathered that the affected agencies had given out slots to Senate leadership.

However, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah vowed to proceed with the investigation though he is silent on the date of the investigation.

Speaking on the threat by the agencies not to appear before the Committee, he said, “I am not aware that any agency gave out employment slot to the Senate. The leadership has not told us that they receive any slot. So, who did they give?

“As the Chairman of this Committee, who is also representing Kaduna South, was not in any way aware that we have been given any employment slot. So, we are going ahead with our probe. I have taken it upon myself that I will probe deeply into the agencies’ claims and carry out an extensive investigation. We are going to expose all those that are tarnishing the image of the Federal Government.

“We are aware that some of the agencies are selling the employment slots at their own disposal. They are commercialising employment, selling a single slot for as much as N1.5million when we have children who have graduated from tertiary institutions who could not get any job for many years. It is not their fault. It is because of the situation of this country.

“Some people are just taking Nigerians for granted. Our children are suffering, running from one end to another, looking for jobs. Some have become bandits and terrorists because the jobs meant for them have been cornered by some greedy people.

“The young educated Nigerians are joining Boko Haram because of lack of jobs. When thousands of qualified graduates are looking for jobs, some people will just be parking government jobs for their family members simply because they are in position of authority. They will even go ahead to give the jobs to those who graduated with fake results.

“I don’t care (whether they gave out slots to leadership) Is it the leadership that will give them the backing? The leadership knows that I am capable of doing my job that is why they gave me that responsibility.

“I am using my sense to fish out the bad elements. It is not a leadership directive. There are rules and regulations guiding us as a committee. The affected agencies should either present themselves for clearance because I will not take it easy. Our people have suffered in bondage for long.

On when the agency must appear before the committee to defend themselves, Senator La’ah said, “Never mind, they must appear soon”.

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