Executive director of the Edo Rapid Response Agency, EDRRA, Mr Mujaidu Dako, in Benin City has uncovered ghost beneficiaries of the Edo Youth Employment Scheme (Edo YES) just as he allayed fears that the agency had sacked all the youths the government recruited in March 2011.
Under the scheme, government had pulled out about 5,400 youths from the job market and put them on a monthly pay cheque of N10, 000. They were however not part of the state public service.
The EDRRA boss confirmed that his agency does not interview or appoint YES beneficiaries, but only issues appointment letters. “The agency has no authority to employ. The office of the governor’s chief of staff sends us a list and we are required to issue letters of appointment accordingly. We did not conduct interviews or issue letters outside the list,” he said.
He stated that the Edo State government recently uncovered ghost beneficiaries of the scheme, saying that the recruitment exercise had been bungled as Edo South Senatorial District had about 4, 000 beneficiaries, while some of other districts had few or none at all in the scheme.
These anomalies the EDRRA boss said were not the making of the agency personnel, adding that the agency is transparent in its dealings and had people who have a high sense of integrity and are dedicated to their duties; rather the youths went into forging appointment letters in the name of the agency and under his signature so they could become beneficiaries.
He also said his agency had already concluded modalities to deploy all the beneficiaries of the scheme to their places of primary assignment including ministries, agencies and parastatals when the complications were uncovered.
The ugly development he further explained led to the decision by government to review the entire strategy for recruiting beneficiaries for the scheme to avoid fraud.