There are indications the ongoing recruitment in the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has been stalled due to lack of budgetary provision for it in the 2013 budget.
A source within the service, who feared that the millions of applicants might have paid the controversial N1,000 registration fee in vain disclosed this.
The source who cast doubt over the recruitment exercise, questioned why the jobless youths should be “extorted” N1,000 for a federal government job they are not sure of.
The source also alleged that the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, and the Civil Defence, Fire Immigration and Prisons Service Board (CDFIPB), did not follow due process before embarking on the exercise, especially by engaging consultants.
“This N1,000 that the minister is saying they are using for processing things and set the exams…is for what? Is it the people that don’t have job they are extorting money from?
“We should also ask if, where and when did the money go to the Immigration account. They should trace who is behind the account. Even the consultant they are using, is for what?
“As far as we are concerned, nobody has been appointed, and no recruitment has been made. The question, however, is that, is there any space or provision for it…the veracity of the intended recruitment, is it on genuine grounds?
“The truth is that it is the Budget Office that will in the first place give you permission to even recruit because they are the ones that will pay the new intakes. Did they cross-check to make sure that things were done correctly before publishing?”
Explaining further, the source said; “The crux of the matter is that this fiscal year, they did not factor it in recruitment in the budget. Did they make effort to ensure that there was provision for it so that the money will be made available either for this year or next year. Instead, they rushed to publish for the recruitment. Where will the money come from because they could not do anything further after collecting the N1,000 registration fee from estimated two million applicants.
“As far as I am concerned, this is a scam. Except through any miracle, the minister and the Board are able to convince the Ministry of Finance to make the money available for the employment. There is no money to pay salaries should they employ anybody. Will they employ who they cannot pay, as government is saying there is no money and they are recruiting?
“The bottomline is that the minister is causing a lot of problems in the Immigration. Where have they in any military or paramilitary agency hired consultants to recruit personnel for them,” the source told THISDAY.
In a swift reaction however, Interior Minister, Moro rubbished claims that the exercise had been stalled, adding that they received all the necessary approval for the recruitment.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. George Udoh, Moro said they followed due process in carrying out the exercise so far with the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan and Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni-Aji.
“Approval has been given on this recruitment since…and what availability of money are they talking about. What money for Budget Office are they talking about.
“You should go to the Head of Service to confirm this. The approval has been given and that is why we have engaged the consultants, while the N1000 is for the processing of that application form. So, I don’t know where you are getting the story from. The recruitment has not been completed. So, why are we talking about money?
“Can’t Mr. President have some budget if there is need for something like that? The president have approved and directed that they should do the recruitment. The same president, who has given this approval…can as well ask for supplementary budget,” Moro added.
He stated further that the N1,000 recruitment fee was arrived at in conjunction with the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
According to him, the fee is for administrative purposes because of the involvement of consultants, who were recruited to ensure transparency in the exercise.
“This was done in conjunction with the FCC. It was not as if the minister just sat down, the Federal Character gave the go-ahead for the N1,000. It is not as if the minister did this on his own, there is a Board and in conjunction with the FCC to collect N1,000 fee.
“Also the approval for the number of persons to be recruited was given by Mr. President. We have not gone outside the directives, we are working within the ambit of Mr. President,” he stated.
Corroborating the minister’s statement, Director of Public Relations, Head of Service, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, confirmed that approval had been given for the recruitment exercise during the tenure of the immediate past Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI), Mrs. Rose Uzoma.
Ajakaiye explained that Head of Service normally gives such approval after being satisfied of the need for it.
He, however, clarified that the process of the recruitment was not within their purview but handled by the Board of the concerned agencies.
Other sources at the Nigeria Immigration Service have also doubted the genuinity of the recruitment exercise.