ABUJA- THE Senate, Monday said there was nothing wrong if lawmakers ask for Job Placement for their constituents, just as it stressed that it would ensure that all senatorial districts were equally captured in whatever arrangement that comes up.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Danjuma La’ah, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who defended the Senators on the issue of asking to get places of work for those they represent,said, “There is nothing wrong in senators approaching the committee on Federal Character and intergovernmental affairs to seek job placement for their unemployed constituents.
“It is normal for colleagues to come to our committee because it is a better way to go about it. What our committee will do is to ensure that all senatorial districts are equally captured in whatever arrangement that comes up. It is not as if we are giving out letters of employment to anyone now.
“What I’m saying is that if any senator approaches us and there is an opportunity, we would help. The senators are coming to us because we are the only committee to ensure even spread in terms of federal appointment.”
The Senator who disclosed that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs have been appearing before the Committee on the alleged job racketeering, said, “The MDAs have been honouring our invitations to explain the recruitment exercises they carried out. We have told them to adhere strictly to federal character principles.
” We have also told them to always carry the Federal Character Commission along before they finalise any internal recruitment. Many of the MDAs have appeared before our committee. Each of them appear with the FCC. So that the FCC will be pointing out if any of them is telling lies.”
Recall that strong indications had emerged in October this year that the Senate was set for a showdown with some federal agencies and Parastatals over alleged secret recruitment exercises, just as there was palpable disquiet in the Upper Chamber over the matter.
The Senate had also vowed to summon and subsequently probe these agencies with a view to ensuring that employment and job recruitment strictly complies with the Federal Character Principle in accordance with the 1999 Constitution ( As Amended).
Senator La’ah who said this then, had stressed that nothing was going to stop his Committee from exposing the beneficiaries of the alleged job race racketeering.
Senator Danjuma La’ah had also noted that beneficiaries of this act may influence the leadership of the Senate to stop the investigation being conducted by his committee, but the committee will not be cowed to jettisoning the planned holistic investigation.
The Senator stressed that the investigation would be carried out and concluded properly no matter whose ox is gored.
Some of the agencies have already been written and directed to appear before the panel.
Among the affected agencies are, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA; National Space Research and Development Agency and the National Open University.
Others are the Federal Civil Service Commission; the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital; Rural Electrification Agency and the Nigerian Navy.
Senator La’ah had said, “I have made it clear that we need to be thorough to show that we are not wit haunting anybody or any organisation.
“We want to be sure that employees will not be lopsided, every geopolitical zone must benefit from the employment because that is needed to promote national unity.
“I don’t care who they have given job slots to? Is it the leadership that will give them the backing? The leadership knows that I am capable of doing my job that is why they gave me that responsibility.
“I am using my sense to fish out the bad elements. It is not a leadership directive. There are rules and regulations guiding us as a committee. The affected agencies should either present themselves for clearance because I will not take it easy. Our people have suffered in bondage for long.”
He continued: “And I am not aware that any agency gave out employment slot to the Senate. The leadership has not told us that they receive any slot. So, who did they give? As the Chairman of this Committee, who is also representing Kaduna South, I was not in any way, aware that we have been given any employment slot. So we are going ahead with our probe.
“I have taken it upon myself that I will probe deeply into the agencies’ claims and carry out an extensive investigation. We are going to expose all those that are tarnishing the image of the Federal Government.”
Senator La’ah who also alleged that it had come to the knowledge of the Committee that some agencies sell single employment slot for as high as N1.5 million, said, “We are aware that some of the agencies are selling the employment slots at their own disposal. They are commercialising employment, selling a single slot for as much as N1.5m when we have children who have graduated from tertiary institutions who could not get any job for many years.
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“It is not there at all. It is because of the situation of this country. Some people are just taking Nigerians for granted. Our children are suffering, running from one end to another, looking for jobs. Some have become bandits and terrorists because the jobs meant for them have been cornered by some greedy people.
“The young educated Nigerians are joining Boko Haram because of lack of jobs. When thousands of qualified graduates are looking for jobs, some people will just be parking government jobs for their family members simply because they are in position of authority. They will even go-ahead to give the jobs to those who graduated with fake results.”