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Recruitment scam: ICPC investigates100 petitions



Recruitment scam: ICPC investigates100 petitions
The Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes (ICPC) says it has received and investigated nearly 100 petitions about contracting scams from victim institutions and complicit individuals.

ICPC President Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye revealed this at the policy dialogue on “Enhancing Transparency in Nigeria‘s Public Service Recruitment Process” on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Nigerian News Agency, reports that the policy dialogue was organized by the Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), ICPC’s research and training arm.

The dialogue aims to produce a policy brief to guide the national response to the problem of curbing corruption and reducing the high level of irregularities in public service recruitment in Nigeria.

It also aims to help the government get the right number and quality of public service workforce.

Owasanoye said that indiscriminate recruitment has continued to have a negative impact on the staff budget, leading to a geometric increase in staff salary and almost double.

He said that the personal wage bill had risen from N1.832 trillion

in 2015 to N3,494 billion in 2022.

“In fact, many Nigerians, both in official and unofficial sectors, have expressed serious concern about the growing sponsorship system in the public sector.

“The time for this policy dialogue could not have come at a better time than now.

“This is because there is almost a consensus across our country and across political divisions that there is a lack of transparency in the public service contracting process at all levels of government in our country.

“This is regardless of which political party has the reign of power in these three levels of government (federal, state and local).

Recruitment scam: ICPC investigates100 petitions

“To underscore the pervasive corruption in the process, ICPC has received and is investigating nearly 100 petitions regarding recruitment scams involving innocent victims.

“The situation is aggravated due to the lack of transparency,” he said.

The ICPC chief said the policy dialogues were generally meant to deliberate on issues that focus on more systemic and institutional improvements.

This, according to him, will be sustainable regardless of changes in the political administration.

He added that the accompanying policy brief was intended to offer solutions that were workable and directly relevant to improving the policy issue.

Owasanoye said Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno had recently raised serious concerns about the politicization of recruitment in security agencies (Nigeria Police and others).

It quoted Zulum as saying: “Governors, ministers and other top government officials have hiring slots that are not interviewed, whether they are qualified for the job or not.”

“These people don’t seem to us like the meritocratic tradition in public service that to some extent, up to the SOS in our count, is slowly fading away and there are very few islands of integrity left in recruitment.

“This is a matter of great concern that needs to be discussed critically, objectively and robustly in this particular dialogue session,” he said.

The ICPC chief expressed his hope that the policy dialogue made up of experienced, informed and diverse stakeholder groups across official and unofficial divides would take a more dispassionate look at the problem that was almost becoming endemic.

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