House of Representatives yesterday gave the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Interior and the immigration boss marching orders to employ the 176 bereaved relatives, who are direct beneficiaries of the ill-fated recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS in 2014.
The House last Thursday set up an ad hoc committee to look into the remote and proximate cause of the delay in recruiting relatives of the deceased and report back to the House in two weeks.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that many graduates lost their lives in different parts of the country where the exercise took place, due to poor logistic arrangement by an external body contracted to handle the exercise by the then Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro.
As a way of compensating the victims of the exercise and their families, former President Goodluck Jonathan had issued a presidential directive to the board in charge of the NIS to recruit 176 relatives of the victims of the unfortunate incident.
Over a year now, the NIS and Ministry of Interior are yet to effect the presidential directive.
The management of NIS had posited severally that it was completely sidelined in the ill-fated recruitment exercise while the ministry had insisted that the employment letter given to the 176 relatives of the dead still remained valid, but said that there was no money to pay their salaries.
In his presentation when he appeared before the ad hoc committee, permanent secretary of Ministry of Interior, Mr. Abubakar Magaji said the president did not meet up with some administrative imperatives and so the beneficiaries were just issued letters but were not recruited into the agency.
Magaji explained that the delay in carrying out the presidential directive was an issue that bordered on bureaucratic process in recruitment and payment of salaries.
According to him, “There was no approval by the former president to recruit. We only heard on radio, television and read on papers. Moreover, we are in court over the exercise and there was no way we can go ahead and employ.”
While testifying before the committee, the Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Henry Malgwi who represented the NIS boss, admitted that NIS did its own part by sending the employment letters of the junior officers affected, but blamed the board of the agency for not doing the same.
On whether the N1000 paid for the applicants were refunded, Malgwi insisted that he could not answer the question since NIS was not part of the recruitment.
Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila and other members expressed dissatisfaction on the delay in recruiting the 176 beneficiaries.
In its submission, the committee directed the permanent secretary and NIS authorities to accommodate the salaries of the beneficiaries on a supplementary budget.


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