Employment racketeering: ICPC to probe MDA directors over 70,000 ghost workers 

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is planning to probe some directors and their collaborators in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government over cases of employment racketeering.

A report by the Nation said the probe is focusing on the federal civil service.

The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPS), Dasuki Arabi, disclosed last week that about 70,000 workers with questionable employment papers were detected and weeded out of the service.

Arabi disclosed this at a ministerial press briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Giving the score card of the Bureau in the execution of its core mandate, particularly in ensuring the full implementation of reform policies and programmes for the government, Arabi also said the introduction of the Integration Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) had led to the reduction of the Federal Civil Service personnel to 720,000.

 “There is a lot of rot in the Federal Civil Service, especially at the top levels. Before now, the MDAs had the autonomy to recruit. Sadly, some abused this process. Some assistant directors forge and issue fake employment letters to desperate job seekers.

“The number of fake employment letters is overwhelming, with some MDAs being overstaffed. For some time now, we have not posted anyone to the Ministry of Environment. But they keep calling us that the number of workers posted to their ministry is overwhelming.

“After investigating, we could not verify most employments and postings.

“Some people in the service are experts in forging the signatures of directors and issuing fake employment and promotion letters.

    “I can imagine how much they realise monthly from ghost workers. They exploit the desperation of some Nigerians in search of jobs. The money they make from ghost workers, issuing fake employment and promotion letters is simply unimaginable,” a source in the federal civil service said in the report by the Nation newspaper.

    The source expressed optimism that the ongoing civil service reform would reduce fake employment and ghost workers.

    The Federal Civil Service Commission has the sole mandate to recruit for all the MDAs of the Federal Government.

    An attempt to get the response of the ICPC on the matter was unsuccessful as a message sent to the agency’s spokesperson Azuka Ogugua has not been responded to as of the time of filing this report.

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