No fewer than 149 persons who specialise in employment racketeering have been arrested by security agencies in the Northeast.
The syndicate was said to have opened a Facebook Account in the name of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, through which they dupe innocent Nigerians under the pretext of offering them jobs on pay-ment of N2000 for application form.
Aji stated this at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria in Abuja during a maiden town hall meeting organised by the Joint Union Negotiating Council in his office.
He said: "Some people were caught selling employment forms in Yobe and some parts of the North East for N2000. Some people went to my state in Yobe and printed fake employment forms, which were sold for N2000. They gave them an assurance that I am their brother and that they would get employment immediately they purchase the forms.
"The security agencies went for them but they were lucky to have escaped arrest initially. However, about 149 members of the syndicate have been arrested and will soon face prosecution." He also dispelled rumours of looming retrenchment offederal civil servants saying that rather than sacking, government was interested in job creation and diversifying the economy.
Aji said: "The federal government is interested in job creation and not retrenchment that is why the YOUWIN programme was
introduced and which has created 100,000 jobs for our youths. The government has also given order to the Federal Civil Service Commission to recruit at least 3000 fresh graduates from now till 2015. All these are aimed at getting the youths out of the streets.
"There is nothing like downsizing, it's not possible. The issue of downsizing doesn't even arise. We are not ready to sack just to increase pay. No one here will be happy to be sacked because of fatter salaries. Retrenching one person means crippling other dependents. We have to work assiduously to diversify the economy and create jobs. The civil service must
be made attractive than the private sector." He also told the JUNC that government was committed to the welfare of workers.
According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the purchase of another 30 buses in the first phase of alleviating the transportation problems in the FCT following the ban on commercial bus drivers by the federal government.
Aji also disclosed that government had set aside £146, 000 for the payment of pensions of five inherited former colonial Heads of Service who were still alive. Their ages ranged between 81 and 106 years old and still alive in United Kingdom. The amount is billed to cover the period of next 25 years for which they have been expected to still be alive.
Earlier in his speech, the President of JUNC, Mr. David Iffi, requested that the HOS should look into the issues concerning staff welfare especially in the area of transportation, training and other allowances.
Aji had distanced his office from an illegal task force set up for the purpose of recruitment of officers into the Federal Civil Service. The HOS had in a statement by the Director of Communications, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, said the group of people operating illegally as the "Federal Civil Service Recruitment Task Force" has been claiming to be set up by his office and selling fake recruitment forms to applicants.
He had said: "The public should be aware that the responsibility for the recruitment of officers into the Federal Civil Service is that of the Federal Civil Service Commission and that the OHCSF plays no role in the process."
According to him, the FCSC has been advertising vacant positions and the application process in Nigerian newspapers . Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji had also advised applicants to always get appropriate information on recruitment from the Commission's office in Abuja or through its website and avoid dealing with fraudsters when seeking employment into the Federal Civil Service."
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