December 4, 2023

Coalition Calls on Buhari, National Assembly Others to Intervene in NNPC Experienced Hire Recruitment Exercise

Sunday Okobi

A coalition, Transparency in Public Service Recruitment Project (TPSRP), has called on the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Minister of State for Petroleum to direct the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to conclude the 2019/2020 Experienced Hire Recruitment exercise by contacting all successful candidates based on merit.

The recruitment exercise, the group noted, was the brain child and vision of the immediate-past Group Managing Director of NNPC, Late Mallam Maikanti Baru, who past on last weekend, adding that the recruitment was meant to be his enduring legacy to NNPC.

The coalition of 17 civil society groups lamented in a letter addressed to the President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate, the House of Representatives and others that after concluding the oral interview for the recruitment exercise on July 11, 2019, 1050 successful candidates for the Graduate Trainee cadre were contacted on February 14, 2020 and offered employment, while till date, the candidates for the Experienced Hire Cadre have not been apprised of their status in the recruitment exercise by NNPC.

According to the group in the letter, signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Tamunotonye I. Cookey-Gam and Mohammed Abdul Qayyum Sandamu respectively, which was made available to THISDAY at the weekend, “The management of NNPC should conclude the Experienced Hire Recruitment Exercise within the next 15 working days failing which the TPSRP and its members would organise itself and take appropriate actions.”

“The Management of NNPC should honour the vision and legacy of Mallam Maikanti Kachallah Baru who is one of the most quintessential and honourable gentlemen to ever grace the office of Group Managing Director of NNPC by concluding the Experienced Hire Recruitment Exercise in a transparent manner based on merit.”

The group noted that its investigations revealed that many candidates undertook onerous financial burdens – to cover their feeding, accommodation and transport to Abuja from different parts of Nigeria and outside Nigeria to enable them participate in NNPC’s oral interview “because of their hope and optimism that at the end of the recruitment exercise, the NNPC jobs would reward their financial and physical sacrifices.

“Unfortunately, till date, candidates who are hopeful of being recruited into the Experienced Hire Cadre of NNPC have not been apprised of their status in the recruitment exercise. This is happening weeks after the successful Graduate Trainees have assumed office in the corporation thereby leaving Experienced Hire candidates in limbo.”

The coalition, whose mandate is to monitor the transparency of recruitments into the public service and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) in Nigeria, stated that: “On April 30, 2020, the corporation issued a press release in which it announced the assumption of duty of the 1050 Graduate Trainees.

“To our dismay, a statement by the corporation further stated that: ‘The assumption of duty of the graduate trainees marks the successful completion of the 2019/2020 recruitment exercise’.

“The statement announcing the completion of the recruitment exercise without stating a specific date on which the successful Experienced Hire Candidates would be contacted is totally unacceptable.

“The manner in which NNPC has handled the Experienced Hire Recruitment makes a mockery of the core values which ought to define the corporation-respect for the Individual, integrity, transparency and accountability.”

Describing President Muhammadu Buhari as a man of honour who has promised to lift Nigerians out of poverty through merit, transparency and Integrity, the group added that the actions of the management of NNPC is totally unacceptable, and would not be condoned by the President once it gets to his attention.

“It is very clear that upon the conclusion of the oral interview exercise in July 2019, the list of successful candidates for the Experienced Hire recruitment to fill over 400 vacancies in the corporation would have been compiled.

“What remains unclear is the reason why the management of NNPC has decided to sit on a list that would have brought joy and relief to many poor households in Nigeria who are currently suffering from the adverse economic effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic,” calling on the president and the National Assembly to intervene in the matter in order “to wipe away the tears from the eyes of the common man in Nigeria whose only desire is to contribute their quota in NNPC after successfully passing through all the stages of the Experienced Hire recruitment exercise.”

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