Money-for Jobs: Victims, Auditor-General Blame MDAs For Employment Frauds

The Federal Government has been urged to leverage on the latest report released by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) in tackling all forms of job scam and racketeering in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
The Convener of Good Governance Team, Tunde Salman, led the call for the Federal Government to urgently address the prevalence of job scams in MDAs during an anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on Radio produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Many citizens who called into the radio program lamented that they were victims of the job scams into the police and the Army at different times.

The OAuGF Annual Report on Non-Compliance/Internal Control Weakness Issues signed by the Auditor-General for the Federation, Aghughu Adolphus, on September 15, 2021, revealed that 17,558 officers of the Nigeria Police Force have future dates of employment.
A recent publication by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) further disclosed that the Auditor General’s report indicted the Nigeria Police of employing persons under 18 into the force.
Salman, who stated that recruitment fraud in the public sector has become endemic and permeated the system, also lamented that job scams encourage inefficiency in public service.
He urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to declare a state of emergency on recruitment of Nigerians into public offices over flawed processes, adding that the government must also show the seriousness with the findings of the Auditor-General.
“For anybody living in Nigeria, we have seen evidence of the inefficiency across the system. Most government agencies will tell you there is an embargo on recruitment, but at the same time, they’ll let you know it’s substitution or replacement, and in that process, a lot of underhand dealings take place.

PRIMORG Team with discussants during Public Conscience on Radio

“Some of the ways out of this is to declare an emergency even in the job sector. We need to also re-orientate the people that no government gives a hundred percent job. They need to make sure that the private sector provides employment that people need; people themselves need to become employers of labour. The enabling environment must be very free and fair.”
Salman, who maintained that the widespread job scam in government offices would continue to cost the nation quality in output of its workforce, called for synergy between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) on eradicating corruption in the recruitment of personnel.
He also asked the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to “uptake their corruption risk assessment to include the recruitment process,” adding that corruption is not only in the procurement but can come from the recruitment process and other things.
Similarly, an investigative journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Lukman Abolade, recommended sanctions for MDAs and individuals indicted by the Auditor General’s report.
According to Abolade, the infringements by the Nigeria Police amounts to heavy loss of scarce and borrowed funds to the Federal Government through input errors or payroll fraud.
He emphasized that buying and selling of government jobs in Nigeria are encouraged by lack of punishment and added that the government must provide an enabling environment that will reassure citizens that they can get jobs on merit.
“If People and agencies are not properly sanctioned, this problem would continue. If we must get rid of job scams in Nigeria, the government has to provide an enabling environment for Nigerians to get jobs,” Abolade advised.

PRIMORG Team with discussants

Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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