The Ministry of Interior yesterday defended its choice of Drexel Global Tech Nigeria Limited for managing the process of recruiting staff into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) early this year. It said it was informed by the reputation of its affiliate company, S. W. Global, known worldwide for excellent information technology (IT) services. The ministry noted that besides the company’s involvement in the e-passport project of the NIS, it had been handling e-recruitment data collection for renowned security outfits like the Nigeria Police, Army and the Navy.
The response, which is contained in a letter with Reference No. MI/LEG/2484/12/T/82, dated April 22, 2014, and signed by the desk officer, FOIA, Mr Danladi S. M, on behalf of the minister, Comrade Abba Moro, is sequel to a request by LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group dated March 17, 2014, which sought answers to sensitive matters bordering on the saga that characterised the last recruitment exercise into the NIS, in line with the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
About 23 Nigerian youths including four pregnant women were died nationwide during the March 15, 2014, botched recruitment. The incident forced critics and activists to call for the sack of the minister, Comrade Moro, and the comptroller-general of immigration, Mr David Paradang.
The minister, who took responsibility for the tragic stampede that led to the death of the jobseekers, tendered an apology to Nigerians but insisted that the incident could not have been deliberate.
According to the letter which referred LEADERSHIP to the Corporate Affairs Commission for vital information which may border on the directors of the company, the process used to identify and hire the consultant is Public Private Partnership (PPP) Contractor Finance Model which is at zero cost to the ministry.
Emphasising that the selection process was in line with the provisions of section 45(3) (a) (b) (c) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, which allows a procuring entity to make direct request to a limited number of consultants for the provision of a service based on the condition of national security and confidentiality, it further stated that the adopted process made the requirement of ensuring adequate budgetary provision for the exercise unnecessary.
The letter reads in part: “The consulting firm engaged to manage the recruitment process is Drexel Tech. Nig. Ltd. The choice of the company was buoyed by the reputation of its affiliate company, S. W. Global, known worldwide for excellent IT services. Besides the company’s involvement in the collection of fees on the e-passport project of the Nigeria Immigration Service, S. W. Global has been handling e-recruitment data collection for the Nigeria Police, Navy and Army.”