The recently concluded recruitment into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has been declared one of the fairest and most transparent in recent time, despite the huge number of applicants who applied for the few positions available.
This was declared by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at the Policy Dialogue on Entrenching Transparency in Public Service Recruitment in Nigeria, organised by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, an institution of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Relates Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday.
“For the NSCDC, about 1.5 million applications were registered on the website. Those who met the requirements on age and height were about 750,000 and were asked to upload their certificates. A total of 217,000 applicants uploaded their certificates of which 113,000 were shortlisted to write the CBT but only 53,116 eventually sat for the test. It is from these that 5,000 were picked among the successful ones.
“In recruiting into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the board decided to advertise in the media to bring the information to the awareness of as many people as possible.
This rules out secret recruitment. We also put away the manual mode of conducting tests and adopted computer based tests that can be done in any location, eliminating the need to have a mass crowd together in one place. We hired a reputable examination body, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for the aptitude test.
“In addition, we included the National Identity Number (NIN) to authenticate the identities and biodata of applicants and eliminate fraud and possible impersonation.
We also engaged the Federal Character Commission at all stages of the recruitment exercise. All these were done through a dedicated website,” the minister revealed.
The Minister who revealed the process was long and tortuous, however stated that the recruitment exercise was a novelty that came with a lot of pressure, yet we’re able to recruit the best into the service.
“The recruitment process into the NSCDC was long and tortuous, though It is also a novelty. So we expected a lot of pressure. Some of the pressures are understandable. A woman came with her son after getting very high up people to influence his appointment. But we discovered that the son was far, far below the required height of 1.7 metres. Some applicants on wheelchairs also came, demanding for the statutory five per cent allocation for special people. We politely explained to them that the job is paramilitary, requiring strenuous physical exercise for which they are not eligible, given their physical condition.
“One of the lessons we learnt, which we have always known anyway, is that there is no part of this country where we cannot get merit, if we want the best. We got people from all parts of the country who are qualified, including females, as certified by the Federal Character Commission that was part of the process from the beginning to the end,” the Minister noted.
Speaking during his address, the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, noted that the event was the third in the series and germane in the fight against corruption.
“You will agree with me that the theme for today, Entrenching Transparency in Public Service Recruitment, is very germane in the fight against corruption and more importantly, they contribute towards the attainment of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) one of whose objectives is promoting an improved legal, policy, and regulatory environment for the fight against corruption.
“Indiscriminate recruitment has impacted personnel budget such that government personnel wage bill has continued to rise geometrically almost doubling between 2015 and 2022 from N1.832trn in 2015 to N3.494trn in 2022,” the ICPC chairman noted.
In her keynote address, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Esan, campaigned for more transparency in the recruitment process of all government agencies.
“Transparency in recruitment is a matter that elicits interests because some people for some incorrect reasons think public sector jobs are somehow better than jobs in other sectors. In fact, according to a 2021 Q3 report, Agriculture, Trade and Manufacturing stands as the highest employers of labour in Nigeria.
She continued, “In March 2021, my office reported to the ICPC that in a particular Ministry, over 1,000 people were carrying fake employment letters and are already enrolled on the IPPIS platform and are drawing salaries from the Federal Government.
She however listed the measures being put in place to ensure transparency in recruitment and also delist those found wanting or parading fake employment letters.
“Just yesterday, the Civil Service Commission sent us a list of 500 people parading fake employment letters and recommended that their salaries be stopped. A list of another 3,000 was forwarded for their salaries to be stopped until their certificates and letter of appointments are verified,” the Head of service stated.
Other dignitaries at the event include, Provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Prof. Tunde Babawale; Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr. Bello Tukur Ingawa; Director (IPPIS), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr. Ben Nsikak, Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Mr. Adetokunbo Mumini amongst others.
Neighbourhood Watch Boss, Prince Ifalade Oyekan, Preaches Hitch-free Eid-El-Fitr Celebration
The Managing Director of the Lagos State Neighborhood Authority LNSA, popularly known as Neighbourhood Watch; Prince Ifalade Ajasa Oyekan has felicitated with Islam faithful across Lagos on the celebration of the Eid-El-Fitr and the successful completion of the annual Ramadan fasting which ends today which happens to be the first day in the month of May. With the Federal Government declaring a 2day public holiday in celebration of the 2022 Eid-El-Fitr and workers day, Ifalade urged Lagosians to be law-abiding and also ensure they celebrate without causing rancour or causing mayhem within their locality.
He also appealed to parents to ensure they monitor their wards during the cause of celebration urging them to ensure they celebrate with decency; staying clear from crimes or other vices that can affect the breakdown of law and order.
To ensure a hitch-free holiday across Lagos state, Prince Falade ordered the adequate deployment of his officers across Lagos to strategic points and other black spots. He also sent a strong warning to street urchins and area boys who intend to cause mayhem to desist from any act that will break down the law and jeopardize the peace of law-abiding Lagosians. He said; “I celebrate with Islam faithful across Lagos and I congratulate Nigerian workers too. For the two days holiday declared by the Government, I have ordered Zonal heads and Unit command heads to deploy officers to the nooks and crannies of Lagos for surveillance and also to maintain peace. Our men are on standby to ensure we all enjoy the holiday in full measure without fear. As we know, Governor Babajide-Sanwoolu is a security-conscious Governor who will do everything humanly possible to protect the lives and properties of all Lagosians. So we are readily aware of the task ahead and we will ensure safety at all costs. We also welcome the usual cooperation of Lagosians to ensure we function at full capacity. We are working in hand with other relevant security agencies in the state to ensure we bring peace and tranquillity to our vicinity in celebration mood.
How Malicious Media Report Against LNSA Leadership was Debunked
Contrary to the disparaging sponsored media attack being syndicated around the media to portray Prince Oyekan Ajasa Ifalade and the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Agency LNSA in a bad light to the public, an independent investigation has shown the said malicious reports as false in its totality.
The faceless individual syndicating the false report is obviously envious of the giant strides the Agency has recorded under the umbrella of Prince Ifalade.
It is evident that such an individual is economical with the truth thereby filing a one-sided report without due diligence which is against the pen-pushing profession. Prince Ifalade’s refusal to give in to mediocrity and also living up to the expectation of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who never jokes about the security of lives and property in Lagos as part of his ‘THEMES’ agenda, seems to be the headache of those fueling the purported rumor about the agency.
According to the malicious report, allegations were raised that; Prince Ifalade runs a one-man show, Procurement compromise, Using of personal staff to perform statutory roles, has overbearing influence in the recruitment exercises, Scrapping functional vehicles.
It is pertinent to state the findings of an independent investigation carried out concerning the allegations raised above. Since Prince Oyekan assumed office about a year ago as the General Manager of the LNSA, he has always given listening ears to those working with him through constant meetings, consultations and even deliberate visits to individual offices to see to the welfare of the Officers and progress of the departments.
He is well known to believe and say, no man is an island of knowledge. Consequently he gives room for suggestions and recommendations from his staff who often acost him on the corridor of the Agency building without any hindrance.
Oyekan is said to have been heard on several occasions saying, “the issue of a one-man show is not possible in security matters. You need the candid advice of all sundry before you make your decisions. Securing lives and property in Lagos is a collective effort you need people so the agency revolving around me should not be even up for debate”. And in pure demonstration of this mantra all the Commands and Unit heads have unfettered access to Oyekan’s office in Oshodi.
The Lagos State Government has a transparent procurement mechanism which remains a viable tool in the hands of its officers during the procurement process. The LNSA under Ifalade is reported to have painstakingly followed the process in its business interactions, storage and deployment of its assets, while the agency is found to have an inventory of all that was procured and deployed and the list is available on request.
All procurement is done within the required scope of the civil service and Mr. Ifalade does not head the procurement team and the procurement Team head is a core professional well known for thoroughness.
Further to this, the various materials procured by the Agency, including car batteries, tires, servicing oils, and the rest are done by duly designated units of the agency. Ifalade does not meddle in the business of the procurements and deployment of procured working tools and only known to observe and supervise the processes as stipulated by the Administrative rules to ensure quality checks and also ensures procured materials are distributed to the needed units.
According to an independent informer, “out of the 57 seven local governments in Lagos, procured Generators have been distributed to 37 Local Government Areas and LCDA while the rest is said to have been held in the store of the Agency for logistic reasons including the lack of accommodation which is being addressed by the Government through the Agency.
Those who are giving out this false information are either not informed or want to deliberately gaslight the whole process because Prince Ifalade has always harped on accountability by ensuring all that is needed.
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