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Labour Ministry tasks ICPC to break syndicate of illegal recruitment

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The Ministry of Labour and Employment has explained the circumstances surrounding cases of the illegal recruitment raised in the establishment.

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Charles Akpan, in Abuja.

Akpan issued this statement in response to the comment of illegal recruitment raised by the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service held at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, the case was an old but ongoing investigation which the ICPC ought to have completed since the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige reported the matter, upon re-appointment as a minister in August 2019.

“Yes, there was illegal recruitment perpetrated between May 29, 2019, and August 2019 when the President dissolved his first-term cabinet and Senator Ngige temporarily out of office.

“However, upon re-appointment and resumption of duties as the Minister of Labour and Employment in August 2019, Sen. Ngige discovered the illegality and promptly raised it at the Federal Executive Council.

”This also necessitated a preliminary investigation by the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.

“The minister subsequently empanelled an Internal Investigative Committee in the ministry to unearth how 752 senior and 532 junior staff members were recruited in the ministry without Ministerial and Head of Civil Service of the Federation approval, as stipulated in the extant circular on recruitment.

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“Unfortunately, the activities of the Committee was stalled by the then Permanent Secretary who claimed that the ICPC had stepped into the matter,” he said.

He added that the onus lied squarely on the ICPC to break the syndicate which the minister appropriately reported first at the Federal Executive Council and subsequently taken over by the ICPC two and half years ago.

“The ministry wishes to further note that every recruitment, especially of senior civil servants, passes through the Federal Civil Service Commission, in fact, solely authorized by it.

”The ICPC should therefore expand its investigation into the Federal Civil Service Commission to break the syndicate, a commendable step in this direction, no doubt,” he said.

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