President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate will accelerate the passage of the Existing Vacancies in the Federal Civil Service (Prohibition) Bill, once it resumes in September.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said that the Bill, which is currently due for Second Reading, will be given priority as one of the Senate’s legislative interventions to curb the increasing rates of illegal recruitment into federal government agencies and parastatals.
“The Existing Vacancies Bill will put in place clear-cut procedures that will help to curb and possibly end the trend of ‘silent or underground recruitment’,” the President of the Senate said, “This country belongs to every Nigerian, and as such, all vacancies that exist in the Federal Civil Service must be properly advertised to give every Nigerian that meet the requirement a chance to apply.”
Saraki also stated that the objective of the Bill, which was introduced by Senator Biodun Olujimi, the Senate Deputy Minority Whip, will be to promote the integrity and transparency in the recruitment of personnel into the Federal Civil Service, by making it an offence for a Federal Ministry, Agency or Parastatal to fill existing vacancies in their organizations if such vacancies have not been advertised publicly.
“With this Bill, we will set time-frames for recruitment and the publication of recruitment in national dailies,” the President of the Senate said, “This will make it the duty of the heads of government agencies and ministries to ensure compliance or face punitive measures.
“Additionally, this Bill will help to ensure that the mandate of the Federal Character Commission is followed to the letter, by imposing punitive measures on those that choose to intentionally flout the law by embarking on secret recruitment exercises within the MDAs under their purview.
“This illegal recruitment trend needs to stop, and when we resume, we will begin to work towards enshrining this in our laws,” Saraki said.