Alleged ‘Secret’ Staffing: Federal Character Commission Clears Emefiele | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Latest News, News

Alleged ‘Secret’ Staffing: Federal Character Commission Clears Emefiele

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 

NICHOLAS UWERUNONYE

Abuja

 

Contrary to allegations that Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) governor, embarked on an illegal employment of 905 personnel for the bank from late last year, Independent can now reveal that the apex bank boss followed due process in the said recruitment.

The recruitment was initiated long before his appointment by his predecessor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now Emir of Kano.

The Independent is in possession of documents showing correspondences between it and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) seeking and getting waivers from advertising the vacancies on account of the nature of the jobs.

By the details of the document, the exercise began in 2013 while Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, current Emir in Kano, held sway at the CBN. The process was, however, truncated as result of the storm that attended the tail end of Sanusi’s tenure.

FCC also not only made exceptions for CBN on advertising the vacancies, the commission issued an FCC compliance certificate to the bank on the recruitment of 511 employees. The difference of 394, according to highly placed sources in both the FCC and CBN, were based on catchment area, which in effect reflects the federal character principle.

Emefiele came under fire recently for allegedly embarking on the recruitment exercise for the CBN, which, according to critics, were fraught with irregularities, falling short of meeting the federal character principle with some regions in the country not fully represented in the exercise.

Wholesale employments such as the 905 recruitment exercise, according to Emefiele’s accusers, must be advertised and must follow the federal character principle.

A breakdown of the recruitment indicates that 104 people were recruited from the North West; 80 people from the North East; 178 from the North Central; 176 from the South West; 213 from the South South and 158 from the South East.

But going by facts uncovered by Independent, the CBN got waivers from making advertisements for the said recruitment. The recruitment drive, according to the newspaper’s findings began on February 26, 2013, while Sanusi was still the apex bank governor. At the time, CBN had urgent need to recruit into specialist positions, which, according to CBN, “were rare and not readily available across all geopolitical zones of the country”. These recruitments included enterprise risk managerial specialists, medical consultants/specialists, reserve management specialists, payments systems configuration specialists, digital media and engagement specialists, international trade specialists and macro prudential and stress testing specialists.

Independent gathered that CBN duly sought clearance for the first batch of recruitment without vacancy advertisement for 275 candidates. FCC in response through a letter dated April 8, 2013 and signed by D.O Fakeye, director, Monitoring and Enforcement, FCC, on behalf of the commission’s chairman, granted CBN the required waiver on advertisement.

The waiver, according to the letter, would allow CBN to do recruitments for the list of candidates without advertising the vacancy. FCC, however, added a proviso to the waiver, stating that it was only valid for three months. CBN could not complete the exercise within the period, forcing the waiver period to elapse.

As gathered, between the period and mid-2014, the former CBN governor had begun having problems bordering on his policy direction and statement. As noted, Federal Reporting Council (FRC) had begun flagging some of Sanusi’s actions as the apex bank boss.

Sanusi was finally suspended by the FRC in early 2014. Sarah Alade, deputy CBN governor, took over from Sanusi, albeit on interim capacity. The process of 275 recruitments remained inchoate until July 15, 2015 when the CBN had to reapply for a revalidation of the waiver earlier granted in 2013. Citing some developments in the bank as cause for non-action on the earlier waiver, CBN pleaded for extension till the end of 2015 to do the exercise.

On July 24, 2015, FCC obliged. Fakaye, again on behalf of the commission chairman, granted the waiver based on the explanation made by CBN. To complete the process, FCC asked CBN to forward to the commission shortlist of candidates to be invited for the job interviews. The list, according to FCC, should include details such as state of origin of candidates; local government areas; sex; posts and qualifications of the candidates. The detail also required that CBN invites the commission to observe the recruitment exercise.

CBN, at the end of the exercise, was required to “formally apply for and obtain certificate of compliance” from the commission. By September 14, 2015, CBN applied for the certificate of compliance. Two days letter, FCC granted the apex bank the clearance document.

In a letter conveying this, FCC noted that CBN had “substantially complied with the provisions of procedure for recruitment into the Federal Public Service”. With the approval of a certificate of compliance, the FCC gave CBN approval “to issue letters of appointment to 275 successful candidates.”

In other to further balance the recruitment across the federation, CBN again on January 4, 2016, followed similar process in recruiting another 238 candidates. In seeking certificate of compliance for the recruitment, the apex bank premised it on the need for balancing. CBN stated that the new list have been found suitable for employment in the bank.

The new employees would support key initiatives such as ‘Treasury Single Account implementation; increased other financial institutions supervision and monitoring of forex utilization and policy guidelines. FCC, on March 15, through B.S Samchi, an acting director, Monitoring and Compliance, approved the issuance of another certificate of compliance to CBN. These processes brought the figures of cleared employment by FCC for CBN to 511.

These processes, however, leave a difference of 394, which is quite substantial. But explaining on the differences, a source in CBN said that they were catchment area recruitments in the 37 branches of the CBN across the country including the Federal Capital Territory.

“It is like the catchment area admission done by higher institutions all the time. Each branch employs low level staffers like drivers, office assistants and other lower cadre employees. By virtue of the process, it is already an FCC sanction process,” the source added, asking not to be named.