Reps Probe Contract Duplication, MDAs’ Illegal Recruitments, Job Racketeering
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate illegal recruitments, nominal roll padding and duplication of projects by ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
At the plenary on Thursday, the House mandated its committees on anti-corruption and public service to probe into the nominal rolls of the MDAs and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.
The House will also set up an ad hoc committee on Tuesday to separately investigate project and budget duplication by the MDAs.
A member of the House, Dachung Bagos, had moved a motion titled ‘Call to investigate the high level of corruption on nominal rolls of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the country’, which the lawmakers unanimously adopted.
The motion came a day after Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), decried the rising cost of personnel and governance, blaming it on illegal recruitment and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, including the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity.
Owasanoye, at the third National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector on Wednesday, attributed high cost of governance and rising personnel budget to illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs and procurement fraud, among others.
The ICPC boss added that at another level, some individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, enroll them on IPPIS and post them to MDAs.
Owasanoye added that the commission was tracking at least 1,083 projects across the country with the exception of Borno and Zamfara states due to security challenges.
He said, “We have so far initiated enforcement actions against 67 contractors and forced them back to site and ensured completion of 966 projects worth N310bn, some of which were hitherto abandoned.
“Other challenges relate to duplication of projects in the budget. ICPC’s review found that 257 projects amounting to N20.14bn were duplicated in the 2021 budget, leading us to submit an advisory to the HMF which was promptly actioned by the minister to prevent abuse.”
President Muhammadu Buhari who was at the event, however, said he would sanction those who bring in personnel into the public workforce through illegal recruitment, pad their payroll and retain ghost workers.
Buhari also warned that his administration would not hesitate to punish heads of MDAs that fraudulently present new projects as ongoing projects in the budget.