The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said the Federal Character Commission (FCC) has directed that it suspend the employment of 43 workers after observing irregularities in their recruitment process, says PenCom.
The commission had allegedly hired 43 new recruits in March 2017 to resume work in May, 2017, but were later told before their resumption date that their employment have been suspended.
To this end, a group known as the Nigerian Youth for Change, however, led a protest at the headquarters of PenCom last month alleging that the suspension resulted in the death of one of the 43 recruits, Mallam Mustapha Ajiya, as he had resigned from his former appointment since April 2017 and had no money to take care of his health and young family.
However, the acting director-general of the commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, while reacting on this development, said, the 41 new recruits, which were scheduled to resume on May 2, 2017, were suspended due to anomalies and irregularities discovered in their recruitment process.
She stated that 43 candidates had been given employment letters after an interview which was cancelled over some irregularities.
According to her, “Half of the candidates were asked to resume on May 1, 2017 and the rest in June of the same year. FCC gave certificate of ‘no objection’ for the interview. The next step was for the Commission to request for Certificate of Compliance to give out letters of employment following the interview. While that was been awaited, the executive of PenCom was sacked. The DG as at the time quickly distributed the letters, without the certificate from FCC.”
She added that FCC, in its letter authorising the interview had given two conditions, which are; the Commission must collect the required certificate before giving out employment letters and must use that recruitment to balance the lop-sidedness of staffing in the Commission.
“When I resumed in April last year, our Human Relations department gave me a letter from the FCC suspending the resumption of those recruited. Based on that letter, I asked HR to meet with the FCC to find a way forward. The FCC advised that the exercise be suspended, that those affected should be informed and that they should be considered in subsequent recruitment exercises,” she pointed out.
Stating that every recommendation was followed to the later, she added that the commission did try to get the National Assembly House Committee on Federal Character to reconsider its stand through the House Committee on Pension and the Senate Committee on Establishment but both failed.
Instead, she said, a letter of reminder was sent to PenCom on the suspension, while it was also invited and warned not to accommodate the new recruits due to irregularities of the exercise.