The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman has commenced secret recruitment into the agency, contrary to the Federal Government’s directive that all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should halt fresh recruitment till further notice.
President Muhammadu Buhari during his presentation of the 2018 Budget to the National Assembly had placed embargo on recruitment into federal MDAs.
According to Buhari the embargo was to enable government manage a rising personnel expenditure that was expected to increase to 12 per cent in 2018, adding that the overhead cost would also rise by N26billion in 2018 or 12 per cent increase in unchecked.
But in a flagrant disregard of the presidential directive, Bala-Usman, has begun secret recruitment into the authority.Investigations showed that A series of recruitment exercise was done on November 10, which held at the Tahir Guest Palace, Kano State by the Human Resource Manager, Bukar Yahaya, for selected applicants.
It was further gathered that the Kano recruitment was sequel to a similar one that was done in the North-Eastern part of the country. The applicants, according to sources converged at AbdulAzeez Yari Conference hall of the Tahir Guest Palace.
The Guardian learnt that the selected applicants were handpicked because they had connections to influential individuals in the society.However, the General Manager, Corporate &Strategic Communications, NPA, Abdulllahi Goje, declared the allegation as “far from the truth, as this process started over one year ago as evident in advertisements for recruitment placed in the November 11, 2016 editions of Daily Sun, The Nation, and Daily Trust newspapers.
“This exercise also followed the procedure laid down by the Federal Government. In accordance with extant requirements by Nigerian laws, the NPA observed the following processes:
“The vacancies were widely advertised in national dailies, and examination conducted across the six geo political zones of the country by reputable consultants.
“The vacancies were also well publicised on the recruitment portal of the Authority’s website. The Federal Character Commission (FCC), is fully involved in this recruitment exercise. Interviews took place across the six geo-political locations.”
But a staff of NPA, who preferred anonymity, confirmed to The Guardian that the recruitment was handled by a special agent.The source insisted: “What they are doing is secrete recruitment. We are not aware of any employment opportunity. We were not told, and it was not published in the newspapers and it was not announced to the staff. Somebody like me has a candidate, but I had no opportunity to recommend him. What we only saw is that they have done interviews for their selected candidates.”
The National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, said it is cynical for a Federal Government agency to embark on secret recruitment.
He said there is a need for Nigerians to react to this by suing the agency for embarking on recruitment in a section of the country without making it public.His words: “Why should a federal government agency embark on recruitment in a section of the country? That is cynical. It is illegal, it contravenes the constitution, it contravenes the principle of federal character, and it is wrong and must be rejected in its entirety.”
Amiwero, who stated that the Agency doesn’t belong to a section of the country, asked the management of the agency to cancel the process or expect legal action.