The Nigerian government has proscribed any kind of payment for forms for civil service jobs, a government official said on Tuesday.
The Director for Legal Services and Prosecution from the Federal Character Commission, Oluwatosin Bodunde, gave the government’s position during a public hearing in the House of Representatives.
He had come to the House of Representative on a one-day public hearing focused on two resolutions of the House on extortion of employment seekers by government agencies’ recruitment firms and called for state of emergency and legislative intervention on the employment crisis in Nigeria.
Representatives of different Ministries, Department and Agencies were before the House of Representatives Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity.
The Deputy Minority Whip of the House, Binta Bello, who declared the hearing open, said the number of the unemployed persons in Nigeria was a thing of concern.
The Chairman of the Committee, Onyewuchi Ezenwa, said some people were taking advantage of the situation to extort job seekers.
The Federal Government has released the white paper on the report of the presidential committee on restructuring and rationalization of Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies, rejecting most of the recommendations in the Steve Oronsaye report.
In the document released by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Government rejected the recommendation to merge NTA, FRCN and VON.
It also rejected the recommendation to abolish the Federal Character Commission; privatization of FAAN; scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, and re-introduction of tuition fees in federal universities, among others.
The accepted recommendations include: scrapping of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission; repealing of the national salaries, income and wages commission law; scrapping of the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP; merger of Nigeria Airways Management Authority (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET); and partial commercialization of NIPOST.
The Chairman of the Federal Character Commission; Professor Shuaib Abdulraheem has condemned the call for the scrapping of Federal character in the nation system adding that it has contributed to the unity and oneness of the country.
He also pledged that equitable distribution of infrastructural facilities to all parts of the country would continue to be giving utmost priority.
The chairman of the commission in an interview after a prayer organized by Ilorin emirate descendants union on his re-appointment said his major challenge during the second term in office is to ensure that no community was marginalized in the provision of amenities in the country.
He noted that the challenges require a lot of funds, manpower and dedication and expressed optimism that it will come to reality.
The Professor of English condemned insinuations that the commission has achieved nothing, stating that the real symbol of unity in Nigeria is embedded in the Federal Character Commission.
He said the commission will continue to protect the interest of all Nigerians against misunderstanding and misinformation.
He expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and pledged not to betray the confidence repose in him in the discharge of his responsibility.
The former Acting chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Mr Muhammadu Gwaska has alleged plots by the presidency to fire him for wanting to defend the dictates of the constitution.
Mr Gwaska made this revelation when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character over the controversy of the commission’s leadership. Also present at the hearing was the new chairman, Professor Abdul-Rahama Oba.
President Jonathan had written a letter to the Senate in November, requesting for approval to remove Mr Gwaska for gross misconduct in office.
But the Senate seeking more evidence before approving the dismissal of Gwaska mandated the Committee on Federal Character to investigate the allegations levelled against him.
The controversy in the commission began when the incumbent chairman, Professor Shuaibu Abdul-Rahaman Oba resigned from the commission to contest the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the Kwara state, ahead of the April 2011, governorship election.
Following the departure of Prof Oba, Mr Gwaska was made the Acting Chairman.
Failing to get the party’s nomination, Prof Oba returned to the Federal Character Commission and was reinstated as the commission’s chairman to the dismay of the Acting chairman Mr Gwaska.
Gwaska is alleged to have refused to hand over documents and official vehicles of the commission, prompting the presidency to seek the approval of the Senate for his removal.
However appearing before the Senate committee investigating the matter, Mr Gwaska denied the allegations, saying all the documents and vehicles have been taken from him since December 2011.
Professor Oba explained after reviewing the attendance register, it was found that that Mr Gwaska had absented himself from work for over a month without any reason.
On why he has being absent from work, Mr Gwaska stated that he stayed away from work to avoid any crises because he moved into the office as soon as he came back and pushed everything away.
When lawmakers sought to find out the legality behind resigning an appointment and coming back to the same commission, Prof Oba explained that months before the April 2011, elections, he had approached the president to tender the document he signed to fulfill the PDP’s zoning arrangement in Kwara state.
Therefore, for the sake of enhancing the party’s unity, Prof Oba sought to return to the office which he had resigned from.
The committee on federal character is expected to present its findings to the Senate in one week