By Mumini AbdulKareem
Following our report on the alleged job racketeering at the Kwara State Civil Service and the refutation by the commission, some of the beneficiaries have come out to relate their experiences to National Pilot.
The beneficiaries who spoke on the condition of anonymity with this medium because of fear of possible victimisation alleged that they paid between N50,000 to N80,000 to secure employment at the commission.
They further accused party chairmen in the state as ‘accomplices’ in the racketeering, adding that the practise is ‘rampant’ in the commission.
According to one of the beneficiaries from Kwara Central who was posted to one of the bureaus in the state, he paid N50,000 through a proxy to secure his slot three years ago.
The 40-year-old painted the scenario thus: “There is massive job racketeering going on but it is being handled low key in the sense that it depends on how connected you are.
“There are also many tactics involved and at times, you can be frustrated to quit the pursuit of the slot if you were initially lucky to get one which may later be sold to the highest bidder.
“In my case, after many failed attempts, I had to pay a little less than N100, 000 through a proxy to a staff of the commission to secure a slot which I am still using till date.
“The truth is that, the state lacks the capacity to employ more civil servants than to wait for people to retire and begin to replace them. That is why the issue of employment is not made public. That is why most beneficiaries don’t give government the credit for their employment.
“But there are some ‘powerful’ officials who hold on to their slots after their retirement and allocate it to their family members to sell. A colleague in the office is a beneficiary of such arrangement,” he disclosed.
Another beneficiary from Kwara North who was posted to one of the departments alleged that the racketeering cut across people in the commission and outside including the Secretary.
“My appointment letter was dropped for me at Kaiama after I paid the sum of N80,000. My colleague who initially paid N60,000 added a balance of N20,000 monthly in three months. It is not new for such claim to be denied by the commission but to us, the beneficiaries, we know what is happening and the extent of rot in the system,” he submitted.
A female beneficiary, who also spoke on the issue, added another dimension by adding party chairmen as co-conspirator.
According to her, “I was told about it but never believed until I saw the reality myself. When I wanted to get my employment at the commission, what I noticed was that all the local government chairmen were present that day which means it was being given as party slot. About three of us paid N50,000 each.
“The slots were given to the party, the party chairmen allocated it to the wards according to the number available at any particular time. Even a friend in Oro was sold one of the slots from Kwara Central in 2016.
“The government are using it as a political tool to provide employment, but there is a massive fraud going on among civil servants and staff of the commission. It is so bad that even messengers in some ministry have turned merchants in the trade and they guarantee you job once you are able to pay the right price. They have the data of those to retire at any particular time or month and they know how to fill those slots.
When contacted last night, the Press Secretary of the Commission, Hajia Shakirat Murtala challenged those making the allegations to come up with evidence adding that many people have been going around with all kinds of unsubstantiated stories. She said the commission is ready and willing to work with anybody that will assist to unravel if there is any fact behind the allegations.
The commission, she noted, very strongly believe in the Secretary, Mrs Shittu Olufunke who she described as an asset to the service. She said her position as the secretary which entails that her signature must appear in all the appointments has given her to many blackmailers who have found her very difficult and too professional to penetrate.