The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has terminated the appointment of 48 workers a year after their recruitment, Daily Trust reports.
NEMA had in 2018, during the tenure of former Director General, Mustapha Maihaja, launched a recruitment exercise in which the agency had hired the workers in 2019.
According to the newspaper, Mr. Maihaja signed their appointment letters on December 24, 2019.
The recruitment was conducted by the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, after approval by the board of the agency, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
But in January 2021, the agency claimed the exercise did not follow “the laid down rules and regulations guiding recruitment into the civil service,” a claim some of the sacked workers denied.
One of them stated, “The recruitment took place around September-October, 2019. Before we were confirmed, we were made to write an aptitude test, conducted by the Public Service Institute. There were representatives of the Federal Character Commission, and from what I found out, the Federal Character Commission even gave NEMA a certificate of compliance, which shows that all due processes were followed.”
The termination of their appointment in a letter was dated January 25, 2021, was signed by the Deputy Director, Human Resource Development, Musa Zakari.
The letter said, “After a careful investigation of the processes and procedures followed, the outcome of the investigation shows that the laid down rules and regulations guiding recruitment into the civil service were not duly exhausted thereby vitiating the whole process and its outcome. As a result of the foregoing, the agency hereby cancels the appointment letter issued to you forthwith being not in order.”
Another affected worker suggested the decision could have been due to the rift between the former NEMA boss and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.
Another sacked worker said, “I filled the assumption of duty form. I have my file number at NEMA, which makes me a staff because it is your file number that makes you a staff of an organisation. It’s a year now that I did my documentation at NEMA.”
The affected employees said they had petitioned the Federal Character Commission, the Senate President, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and other relevant agencies but NEMA spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel, said he was not aware.
“I am not aware of any recruitment that was done by NEMA. We have our standard as a country for employment and one of the standards is that jobs must be advertised in newspapers and I am not aware of any advertisement that was placed, or any employment that was done,” said Mr. Ezekiel.
Ezekiel added that if anybody had a letter of employment from NEMA and another letter cancelling the employment offer, then the letter containing the employment cancellation should state why they were fired.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Maihaja, said, “Due process was followed as provided by law, specifically the NEMA Establishment Act.
“From the approval to recruit by the governing council (chaired by the VP), the management/senior staff establishment committee’s engagement of Public Service Institute to conduct the selection process, exams and interviews to the final issuance of the compliance certificate by the Federal Character Commission.
“What is of concern to me are the staff recruited; some happened to be workers elsewhere, were asked to bring their proof of resignation and corresponding acceptance by their former employers, and they complied and subsequently accepted the offer. It is a pity if truly they were disengaged after all.”
Maihaja was in May 2020 removed from office by President Muhammadu Buhari due to his alleged lack of submission to the Ms. Umar-Farouk, an agency source revealed but added that “it is unfair to extend that to innocent young people.”
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