Even as the dust over the Nigeria Immigration Service’s tragic recruitment exercise is yet to settle, reports of unease over yet another recruitment scandal has emerged .It was learnt that the Juliet Ngozi Olejeme board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF had engaged consultants to advertise positions much to the shock of workers and the scandalous recruitments have been carried out since 2011. Olejeme is the chairman of the board.
Insiders said as at 2010 after some restructuring, the entire workforce of NSITF was less than 100 all over the federation. Even at that management was owing these staff three promotions. This resulted from downsizing since the transfer of NSITF assets to the Trust Funds Pensions Plc.
By 2011, the workers ,like other Nigerians suddenly read advertisements in the newspapers and online .The adverts were placed by consultants engaged by the board .The curious sign for the workers was that they were asked to also apply for their positions,an indication that all of them had been indirectly sacked and could only be absolved after fulfilling the conditions placed by consultants.Every applicant according to the advert was to pay N1000(One thousand Naira –Yes the same amount unemployed Nigerians paid to NIS consultants).
Newsdiaryonline learnt that the serving workers fought this out with the management. There was a friction between the workers .The latter eventually succumbed.”Don’t forget worker s were being owed three promotions, only for them to say all of them should go and apply through a consultant for their positions. It was opposed to a standstill “ an insider said.
The workers’ victory Newsdiaryonline learnt was only partial. In the light of this protest, workers within were given was referred to as one upgrade, but not a promotion. Worse still ,all the workers were given the same effective employment date with the new recruits brought in by the consultants.
One source said this recruitment was actually perfected by theOlejeme led board without the consent of the managing director Alhaji Munir Abubakar and the three executive directors. An insider said as soon as the NSITF staff strength grew beyond the 100 workers after the recruitment “we found out that staff were posted to offices that had not been reopened(just like ghost offices like in Ekiti,in Zaria, people were posted to where there was no office.”
According to an insider, this posting of staff to non-existent offices “is a proof that the management had no input in this curious recruitment process, because if management did it, they know where NSITF had offices.”
New offices suddenly sprang up in Abuja aside from the head office. There were offices in Gwagwalada, Kagini, FCT office ,off Gimbiya street etc. “There was clearly no planning for these offices. You go to corporate offices and see workers using plastic chairs. One office in Abuja has about 200 staff, yet it is not properly furnished.”
Even worse, it was learnt that most of those recruited were people above 50 years contrary to public service rule which says anyone over 50 years cannot be given fresh appointment .Such people should only get contract appointment by rule.”But people above 50 were getting employment at NSITF because management has no input” the insider said .In effect, the consultants were used to give fresh employment to unqualified men above 50 years.
Aside from the 2011 recruitment. Insiders said there was a second recruitment exercise in 2013. In this case, no single interview was conducted.
Nobody paid for anything .No applications. People were recruited from places of worship and associations. It was the triumph of cronyism.
There are those who believe the mission of NSITF is laudable but the institution is being misgoverned. And there is an urgent need for President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly should probe into the affairs of the Fund. This probe is expected to unravel the faulty recruitment and money remitted to the Fund without due process.