NSIA: Anti-graft group urges Buhari to probe alleged employment scam

By AdvocateNews on 29/04/2019

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Anti-graft civil society organization, Coalition Against Corruption and Bag Governance (CACOBAG) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the appointment of the daughter of one of his principal officers (names withheld) as the assistant vice president, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The group said that it was making the call as it was carried out under secretive and controversial circumstances.

A statement signed by the group’s Chairman, Alhaji Toyin Raheem and issued yesterday to newsmen expressed worry that the appointment was considered controversial as it violated set procedure at the NSIA, the legally constituted agency that manages Nigeria’s excess crude oil revenues.

“According to media reports, the position was not publicly advertised, contrary to what is expected of such position,” the group pointed out, adding that besides, the newly employed assistant vice president clearly does not meet the criteria for the role.

“She has just five years working experience at the National Integrated Power Project where she worked up until February 2019, when she got the NSIA job.

"Her appointment which is a Level 3 appointment is the highest level in the organization, whereas the average working experience for that level is 10 years”, the group claimed, stressing that such practice at the highest level of government runs contrary to the avowed posture of the Buhari administration.

“More disturbing is the report that the controversial appointment followed some arm-twisting and back deals with the top management of NSIA. Equally disturbing is the revelation that the new employee is starting up with an annual package of N32 million. We have chosen to call for a thorough investigation of this case because a similar thing happened in Pension Commission recently, and at the end of the probe, those involved were relieved of their job,” CACOBAG said.

The group pointed out that five days after the employment scandal leaked in the media, “neither the presidency nor the management of NSIA has deemed it fit to deny any of the following claims that: members of staff at the NSIA are infuriated by the appointment; that a few of the high-level personnel privy to the recruitment initially refused to interview” the applicant and “that one of such persons include an executive director, Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli who vehemently rejected the suggestion; that the ED was, however, arm-twisted into playing along as the pending confirmation of her appointment to become a second term ED became an instrument of blackmail; that her appointment was eventually confirmed sometime in March 2019 after she acquiesced; that Halima Buba, a board member at the NSIA who was also invited to observe the process, refused to take part; that despite all this, the new assistant vice president has since resumed.

 

The anti-graft group, therefore, gave “the presidency notice that we shall commence series of lawful civil actions in a matter of days to compel the Buhari administration to order a comprehensive investigation of this employment scam. If it could be done in Pension Commission because the daughter of a member of the House of Representatives is involved, it should also be done at NSIA because what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

Posted 29/04/2019 06:57:27 AM

 

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