FG Sacks Over 500 Illegal Employees Of Labour Ministry

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The federal government has sacked over 500 “illegal staff” of the ministry of labour and employment.

They were said to have been employed into the ministry weeks before the 2019 general election — but without a waiver from the office of the head of the civil service of the federation.

According to an internal circular signed by Hussain AbdallahRahman, the director of human resource management at the ministry, and obtained by newsmen, the “illegal staff” were sacked due to the refusal of a committee to enroll the new employees into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform.

The IPPIS is a platform under the office of the accountant-general of the federation responsible for the payment of salaries and wages directly to government employees’ bank accounts with appropriate deductions and remittances of third-party payments.

AbdallahRahman stated in the circular that the non-compliance with the directive of the head of civil service by the ministry of labour during the employment process was the main cause of the sack of the workers.

The circular also directed the affected workers to return all government properties in their care to their respective unit heads.

“With reference to the letter from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Ref. No. NICSF/PS/CMO/IPPIS/S.2/VOLT dated 5th September 2022, on the above subject, I am directed to inform the under-listed persons that the Committee on Enrolment of New Employees into the IPPIS platform did not process their enrolment,” the circular reads.

“Furthermore, the recruitment exercise was carried out without waiver from its office.

“All affected persons are hereby requested to immediately return any government property or properties in their possession to the heads of department/unit.”

N300K PER SLOT

A top source in the ministry — who did not want to be named due to fear of intimidation — told TheCable that the affected staff were those who paid for employment slots.

Trading of employment slots, especially federal jobs, is not an uncommon practice in the civil service system.

The source said the sacked staff were hired by the ministry in 2019, adding that while some were given IPPIS numbers and proper identification, others were not.

He added that those without the IPPIS numbers have not been paid since then.

The federal government has sacked over 500 “illegal staff” of the ministry of labour and employment.

FG Sacks Over 500 Illegal Employees Of Labour Ministry

They were said to have been employed into the ministry weeks before the 2019 general election — but without a waiver from the office of the head of the civil service of the federation.

According to an internal circular signed by Hussain AbdallahRahman, the director of human resource management at the ministry, and obtained by newsmen, the “illegal staff” were sacked due to the refusal of a committee to enroll the new employees into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform.

The IPPIS is a platform under the office of the accountant-general of the federation responsible for the payment of salaries and wages directly to government employees’ bank accounts with appropriate deductions and remittances of third-party payments.

AbdallahRahman stated in the circular that the non-compliance with the directive of the head of civil service by the ministry of labour during the employment process was the main cause of the sack of the workers.

The circular also directed the affected workers to return all government properties in their care to their respective unit heads.

“With reference to the letter from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Ref. No. NICSF/PS/CMO/IPPIS/S.2/VOLT dated 5th September 2022, on the above subject, I am directed to inform the under-listed persons that the Committee on Enrolment of New Employees into the IPPIS platform did not process their enrolment,” the circular reads.

“Furthermore, the recruitment exercise was carried out without waiver from its office.

“All affected persons are hereby requested to immediately return any government property or properties in their possession to the heads of department/unit.”

‘N300K PER SLOT’

A top source in the ministry — who did not want to be named due to fear of intimidation — told TheCable that the affected staff were those who paid for employment slots.

Trading of employment slots, especially federal jobs, is not an uncommon practice in the civil service system.

The source said the sacked staff were hired by the ministry in 2019, adding that while some were given IPPIS numbers and proper identification, others were not.

He added that those without the IPPIS numbers have not been paid since then.

Another source alleged that the job racketeering scandal was during the tenure of William Alo and Ake Adeniyi, permanent secretary and human resources manager, respectively, at the ministry at the time.

“They sold the slots to innocent people in 2019. These people were not paid for once to date. You will see them lurking around the ministry building. What we know for sure is that the racket is between the former permanent secretary, Alo, and Ake Adeniyi,” the source said.

“The last time I checked, I knew the affected people paid over N300,000 each for the jobs.”

TheCable learnt that the affected staff have written to Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the matter, which is currently being investigated — a development Azuka Ogugua, the commission’s spokesperson, confirmed.

“Basically, ICPC is working with the office of the head of the civil service of the federation (OHCSF) and Federal Civil Service Commission to deal with job racketeering issues,” Ogugua said.

“This was stated clearly during a policy dialogue held by the commission in April last year. Some persons have been arrested and prosecuted and the details are on our website. But if those fired by the FG wrote to the commission, I cannot discuss details of their letter.”

‘WE HAVE NO OPTION THAN TO LET THEM GO’

In an interview with newsmen, Olajide Osundun, the spokesperson for the ministry of labour, said the ministry resolved to let the affected staff go after efforts to legalise their employment failed.

Speaking further, he said the issues around the employment scandal started when Alo and Adeniyi recruited above the number approved for the ministry by the office of the head of the civil service of the federation.

He said the ministry got approval for the recruitment of 120 junior staff as against the over 600 who were later recruited.

“So, we have an excess of 512. All these happened during the period of transitioning to the new tenure of the present administration,” he said.

“The minister of labour and employment knew nothing about employment. The current permanent secretary and the director of administration now weren’t there then.

“This became an issue. Ngige made an overture to the head of the service and pleaded for a waiver to retain them. The head of the service said there is no vacancy for them.

“The new permanent secretary also made a lot of efforts to see how these 512 can be retained. The head of service said she would have loved to do it, but she can’t just approve employment without vacancy for them.

“The ministry had no option now, but to ask the 512 to leave because they were not captured for salary. They haven’t been paid salary since the time they were given the employment letters. The summary of it was the appointment was illegal.

“There is nothing to do to correct illegality. The present administration in the ministry has no other thing to do after making several failed overtures than for them to leave.”

Source: The Cable