NIS Recruitment: How We Shared Over N700 Million Realised From Applicants – Consultants
A firm of consultants hired by the Ministry of Interior to coordinate the controversial Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment exercise in which no fewer than 20 graduate job seekers lost their lives and several others wounded in some major cities across the country, Drexel Technology Limited has given a breakdown of how the over N700 million realised from the sale of the recruitment forms was shared among the ministry, the company, banks and the NIS.
Speaking in Abuja at a two day public hearing into the tragedy organised by the Senate, Theodore Mayaki, Drexel Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, denied that his company was contracted to organise the recruitment exercise and insisted that the terms of engagement between the ministry and his company was just to operate the portal for e-recruitment, insisting that, “we were not responsible for the actual recruitment exercise.”
According to him, “When we got a request from the NIS for N201 million, we reluctantly gave them N45 million on patriotic grounds because our responsibility under the said contract was for the provision of the portal and we did that diligently and faithfully.”
He added that the portal that was supposed to contain only 50,000 applicants broke down thrice and Drexel had to spend more money to expand the portal. His words: “N98 million was required to do the project and we eventually got 710, 110 applicants making N710,110,000.But we have given NIS N45 million after we had exceeded our target of N98 million. We should understand that the N1, 000 charged each applicant did not get to Drexel. Out of that money, N250 went to the engaged payment processors, through the banks. That amounted to N177,500,000.”
While trying to shield their godfather in the deal, Mayaki absolved the Interior Minister Abba Moro when he insisted that, “out of this money, nothing goes to the ministry. When we first got the N201 million request, we were reluctant to give them any money because the portal, contrary to our initial expectation, crashed thrice and we had to expend more money than expected.”
While declaring open the public hearing, Senate President David Mark insisted that there would be no sacred cow or cover-up in the probe even though he is the godfather of the minister. As a fact, Moro is from the same Benue state as Mark and was nominated to the cabinet by the Senate President. Mark, who was represented by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) described the deaths of the applicants as an “unfortunate and embarrassing incident.”
He charged the Senator Atiku Bagudu-led Interior Committee to do all it can to unravel what happened and who was responsible for what. His words: “Because we want to get to the root of the matter, we won’t prejudge what happened. I want to urge the committee to approach the investigation with an open mind to unravel what happened and those who should take responsibility should take responsibility so that we can get to the root of the matter.
“The level of unemployment in Nigeria is unacceptable. We urge you to speak up frankly and avail the committee of every fact available to you so that the unfortunate incident doesn’t happen again.”
The committee was told that an initial 693, 015, applicants applied but the figure later rose to 710, 110 out of which only 522, 652, were eventually shortlisted. NIS Board Secretary, Sylvanus Parradang said the figures were gotten from the consultant, Drexel Technology Limited “before the portal shut down” adding that “candidates were advised to go to their states so that there would be an even spread.”
He further told the committee that the National Assembly was duly informed of the recruitment on March 15 and that N45 million was released by the consultant on March 12, after an initial request of N201 million “in support of the exercise.”
Earlier, Yemi Adelakun, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of Service disclosed that the NIS was granted a waiver to fill 2,050 vacancies in 2011 and 4,556 in 2012. Representative of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Engr. Uche corroborated Adelakun but went further to explain that the NIS sought a waiver to employ 1, 750 people “in view of the Boko Haram insurgency so that the new staff could resume work by September 2011. Approval for that was granted on July 25, 2011 but the exercise was later put on hold by December 2012.”
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