The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the consultant that handled last Saturday’s recruitment exercise that led to the death of about 21 applicants in Abuja and Benin City, the Edo state capital, for jettisoning recruitment procedures as laid down in the civil service rules.
PENGASSAN, which is a trade union of all senior staff in the oil and gas industry, also asked the Federal Government to without delay sack the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, David Parradang, and other senior officers of the paramilitary agency, who were involved in the exercise.
In a statement issued by the union, the PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, who condemned the recruitment procedure that led to the death of the applicants, demanded that the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, should also step aside pending the end of a probe to be instituted by the government to determine the culpability of the minister and its officers in the fatal recruitment exercise.
Comrade Ogun criticised the collection of the N1,000 application fee from each of the applicants, adding that this fuelled the abandonment of civil service recruitment procedures by the consultant, the ministry and the NIS.
The PENGASSAN President said: “It is the motive for maximum profit without respect for due process and laid down procedures for recruitment as prescribed in the civil service rule that caused the death of those applicants. The minister, who approved the collection of money from job seekers; the Comptroller-General and the consultant who supervised and collected the money from applicants are driven by selfishness and greediness.
“Aside from the civil recruitment service procedures, there are laid down procedures in any recruitment exercise, which include receiving applications, screening received applications by looking at the eligibility of applicants considering age, health ground, educational qualifications, and height, among others. It is at this stage that the recruiters do what is called ‘weeding’, where many applicants are disqualified.
“It is after that the recruiter will now decide either to divide the applicants to groups if they are still many so as to get the best of the applicants required for the post advertised. The recruitment exercise for different groups can be conducted over a period of time even for the first stage to cope with the large numbers of applicants before the second stage, in multi stages recruitment exercise.”