Delta, Nigeria: Employment For Sale? N500,000
Alphonsus Agborh writes on the alleged employment scam rocking Delta State, where desperate applicants pay as much as N500,000 to secure jobs in the civil service and how Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is tackling the situation.
The rumour was everywhere,spreading like wild fire that employment was up for sale in Delta State. Job seekers roaming the streets in search of white collar jobs got wind of it.
Some were helpless and resigned themselves to fate, as coughing up the amount so demanded for any position was like an elephant trying to pass through the eye of a needle.
But for others, as long as the job was guaranteed, the amount did not matter; after all, the money could be recovered within one year when salaries are paid.
It was no longer a secret that vacancies in Delta State civil service were being filled through the back door; that is, without advertisement.
There are reasons to fill vacant positions in the service. It could be occasioned by retirement, death, termination of appointment or promotion and since there should be no vacuum, officers often go ahead allegedly to fill such vacancies.
It is alleged that desperate applicants pay as much as between N100,000 and N500,000, depending on the position. The scam cuts across all ministries and parastatals.
Worst still is that because of the amount involved, applicants from the South East states allegedly forge documents, claiming to come from Ibo-speaking area of Delta and pay huge sums of money to get the slots.
As a result of the trend, labour leaders in the state have raised the alarm.
Those who have no godfathers to help them have cried foul.
If one does not know a member of the state House of Assembly, have a brother as a commissioner or a relation in government, the chances of getting a job in the state becomes slim.
As the allegation became rife, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, got a wind of the trend.
Specifically, the last known recruitment exercise was done about two years ago, where over 5,000 teaching and non-teaching staff were recruited by the post primary education board.
When Asaba was to go into operation, an advertisement was put up and each applicant was asked to pay N1,500 for the form.
Over 20,000 applications were received. But when it was becoming scandalous, the state governor directed that the monies paid should be refunded to the applicants. The reason he gave was that people could not be looking for job and at the same time be subjected to further hardship.
The governor received ovations from Deltans who rose astutely to condemn the payment for the application form.
The question is, has the money actually been refunded? Some persons, who paid, are still complaining that their money were not refunded neither were they recruited.
With this and the emerging rumour that jobs are being sold for money, Governor Udughan, on workers day, spoke loud and clear about the matter.
The governor had always emphasised that government cannot provide employment for everybody in the service, but that it is creating an environment and programmes to enable people to be self-employed.
The governor was very bitter and vowed to get to the root of the allegation, vowing anyone so indicted would not escape punishment.
Uduaghan has immediately asked the police to investigate the employment scam and report back in two weeks, even as he suspended all forms of employment processes until further notice.
Apart from the police, it was not clear who the other members of the committees are. The task of the committee is to fish out the givers and takers of the monies involved.
The governor asked those who paid money in one way or the other to get a job, to come to him directly or use any available channels such as the social media to get across to him with evidence.
To him, it was not enough to allege, but victims should be ready to substantiate their allegations.
The governor was, indeed, annoyed, more so when those close to him were allegedly linked with the secret employment.
The governor went further to tickle the workers by reacting to the issue of casual workers in the state. Some workers in the parastatals are believed to have worked for almost six years without being placed on a permanent employment.
Via Tribune Nigeria
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