The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has again said it took the right action nullifying the appointments of 48 workers whose recruitment was sanctioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
NEMA repeated its claim that the employment of the 48 workers was a “questionable” and “hurriedly arranged recruitment.”
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 Daily Trust, 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.
Mr. 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.”
Justifying its sacking of the workers, the spokesman for NEMA, Manzo Ezekiel, in a statement on Sunday said, “Contrary to the allegations in these publications, the agency did not sack any staff. Rather, the agency’s management only correctly nullified a questionable and hurriedly arranged recruitment that was marred by irregularities and lack of adherence to established procedures for recruitment into the public service.
“Those claimed to have been sacked were candidates of that spurious exercise.”
While admitting that approval was obtained from the NEMA Governing Council for recruitment in 2018, Mr. Ezekiel claimed other “complementary and critical” procedures were not followed and that the non-compliance with the required procedures invalidated the exercise.
“These include obtaining approval from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation with regard to established vacancies and manpower budget. The supervising ministry of NEMA, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, was also completely excluded from the recruitment.
“The standard protocol dictates that the ministry, which was created and assigned a supervisory role over the agency in 2019, must be briefed and involved in such exercises,” the statement explained.
Touching on unpaid salaries of the sacked workers, NEMA explained, “For the avoidance of doubt, the confirmation of recruitment and payment of the salaries of a public servant on a continuous monthly basis follows established standards.
“To wit, due recruitment process in accordance with Public Service Rules.
“If successful, the candidate’s data is captured by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“Next and on formal resumption of duties, the candidate’s payment transfer details are captured by IPPIS for regular payment of salaries and allowances.”
Speaking on the involvement of the Public Service Institute of Nigeria in the recruitment of the workers, NEMA argued, “The involvement of the institute is not a necessary condition in the recruitment process as enshrined in the Public Service Rules.
“PSIN was only engaged by NEMA as a consultant for the purpose of conducting examination for prospecting candidates. It is unfortunate that the affected candidates were issued appointment letters without exhausting the conditions enshrined in the Public Service Rules and the Guidelines for Appointment.
“However, Public Service Rules are established to protect the interest of the government as well as the employees. Therefore, they cannot be discountenanced. In view of the foregoing, the public is advised to disregard the misleading publications that were orchestrated by people that attempted to circumvent Public Service Rules for their own gains.”
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