The Federal Government says it has discovered 1,500 workers who entered the Federal Civil Service with false appointment letters.
The Head of the Federation Civil Service, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, who said this in Abuja on Tuesday, promised to remove them from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
Yemi-Esan was speaking at the ‘National Policy Dialogue on Ensuring Transparency in Recruitment for Public Office in Nigeria‘.
The event was organized by the Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), an investigative and training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC).
It added that more than 1,000 people were said to have been discovered in one ministry, while another 500 were found in other ministries, departments and agencies during a service-wide verification exercise.
The service chief said the Federal Government would spare no effort to remove their names from IPPIS to deter others.
Yemi-Esan stated that with the institutionalization of IPPIS, the Federal Government had been able to track down fake jobs.
She said this has reduced the risk of employing less efficient, unqualified and unreliable staff to run government affairs.
“For example, last year, in a single ministry, more than 1,000 people were detected carrying false appointment letters.
“It is disheartening to note that the office recently received a report from the Federal Civil Service Commission that submitted the names of more than 500 people in various MDAs in possession of false appointment letters.
“Similarly, following the outcome of the service-wide verification exercise for officers recruited between 2013 and 2020, the Federal Civil Service Commission also requested the suspension of the salaries of more than 3,000 officers in the MDAs.
“These officers did not report for the exercise pending further clearance,” he said.
According to her, the government’s effort to stop official leaks in the civil service has created a gap that leads to a series of implementation problems.
He added that as of March, more than 380,000 officers had been added to the IPPIS payroll, comprising 66,000 and 320,000 for basic and non-basic MDA, respectively.
“A report by the Bureau on Drugs and Crime stated that 32 per cent of Nigerians gave bribes to enable them to secure public service employment in 2019.
“What is also important to note from the report, which is perhaps critical to understanding how corruption thrives in hiring processes, is that an increasing number of job applicants were in contact with government officials or possibly other entities.
“Therefore, the trend underlines the importance of implementing systems to reduce, to the minimum possible, any form of human contact,” he said.
She, however, explained that the Federal Government through various means will continue to explore possible ways to close the unemployment gap in the country.
She said this would be done through: “a multifaceted and cross-cutting approach, especially through the various social safety net programs.
“The programs will boost the government’s ambition to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and lift more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.”
Speaking about global best practices in terms of recruitment, he noted that the Indian public service has one of the best compared to the Nigerian system.
“I recently visited India and had an interaction with the chairman of the country’s United Public Service Commission.
“The discussions focused on the system implemented for the recruitment of officials for the civil service, which is one of the best in the world and consists of a decentralized examination aimed at selecting the best candidates.
“I was further informed that the process is free from any form of outside interference.
“Furthermore, India conducts its recruitment once a year through a well-recognized merit-based system,” he added.
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