ComTech Minister: NITDA recruitment fraudulent

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has described the last recruitment exercise at the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) fraudulent as it did not follow due process.

The minister, who had come under strident criticism over the cancelation of the exercise because only one candidate from Oyo State, his state, was offered employment, debunked the uninformed impression, arguing that the recruitment was annulled because it was conducted in conflict with due process. “The former Director General of NITDA, Mr. Peter Jack neglected due process in conducting the recruitment exercise,” he said.

According to him, the recruitment process was stopped after realising that it did not follow laid down procedure and that approvals were not obtained, while most of those employed don’t have the requisite skills to bridge the manpower gap at NITDA.

“The employment process did not follow due process because employment letters were issued to the applicants even before the interview exercise and the issuance of Certificate of Compliance by the Federal Character Commission (FCC), coupled with the disregard of Ministry of Communications directive that the recruitment exercise be put on hold,” Shittu added.

The minister, who said he could not be held liable for the non-absorption of the 368 candidates issued letters of appointment from the inconclusive recruitment exercise, stated that the former Director-General contravened all civil service provisions for such an exercise.

The Agency therefore suspended the process due to the non-adherence to the guidelines for recruitment in the Public Service which stipulates Mandatory composition of Senior Staff Committee/Junior Staff Committee; Advertisement in two or more national dailies; Declare establishment positions; Invite observers from the Federal Civil Service Commission, Head of Service and Ministry of Communications; and Obtain the Honourable Minister’s approval in the absence of the NITDA Governing Board.

He said: “The candidates were not interviewed, no declaration of vacancies and no Ministerial approval before letters of provisional appointment were issued and circulated on the 9th of November, 2015.

“The discrepancies in the employment procedure and non-compliance with laid down rules as well as financial infractions led to the suspension and the eventual disengagement of the former Director General by Mr. President with effect from 12th February, 2016.”

The minister described the innuendos that he rejected the recruitment exercise because his state was poorly represented on the list of successful applicants as laughable, adding that it was a failed attempt to cover the inadequacies inherent in the whole exercise.

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