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Reps vow to utilize recovered funds well

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By Abraham Adekunle

Forfeited funds will be channeled to several sectors of the economy.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has said that when funds seized, forfeited and abandoned in financial institutions and government agencies are identified and recovered, they would be rechanneled into education, healthcare, infrastructure and job creation. He stated this on August 14, 2023, while inaugurating the House Ad-hoc Committee on the identification and recovery of funds seized, forfeited, and abandoned in financial institutions and government agencies. According to him, the aim of the parliament was to come up with a comprehensive strategy to identify, recover idle funds and channel them into productive ventures.

His argument was that these dormant funds could be used to reinvigorate the economy and create opportunities for growth and development of the country. He said that as the administration embarks on the mandate, Nigeria challenging and multi-dimensional economic landscape needs decisions that will echo across the lives of fellow citizens, especially those affected by the current realities. Nigeria still battles challenges such as dwindling revenues, infrastructure gaps, unemployment, and inflation. Kalu said, “Our unwavering dedication to transparency, accountability, and diligence is non-negotiable as we navigate through intricate financial systems, legal intricacies, and bureaucratic entanglements.”

House Ad-hoc committee problem JAMB employment scandal.

So, the resources that are unearthed would be reinvested into critical sectors such as education, healthcare, infrastructure and job creation. He said that the ripple effects will make lasting impacts through generations. Meanwhile, the House Ad-hoc Committee probing the employment racketeering and mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) questioned officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over alleged lopsided recruitment in the agency. The board was said to have employed 300 persons without due process.

Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Honorable Yusuf Gagdi, disclosed this at the ongoing investigation when the registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, appeared before the panel at the National Assembly. Because of this, Gagdi demanded that the agency immediately submit the list of all staff employed between 2015 and 2023. As he expressed disappointment that the board had been violating the extant regulations of public service by employing staff without advertising the vacancies, he added that the agency employed more than 300 members of staff in 2021 alone.

Oloyede said JAMB received approval for waivers.

Gadgi stated that by failing to advertise the vacancy, JAMB denied ordinary Nigerians the opportunity to be employed in the examination body. “What makes you think advertising wouldn’t have been better? You have the capacity to screen the people that apply to get better hands to do those jobs.” The lawmaker said that the purpose was to correct the fraud associated with waivers. JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, while addressing the ad-hoc committee, stated that his agency adhered to the federal character principles in the recruitments it did between 2015 to date.

In his response, he said JAMB had received approval for waivers from the relevant agencies to employ staff to replace those that had left. He added that the board had five sets of recruitment in the period under review. The reason for seeking the waiver, he said, was due to exigencies of duty and the nature of the work. He said that there were about twelve to thirteen centers coming on board and people were needed to man them. “If we were to advertise for the three hundred, we wouldn’t be able to meet up with what we needed them for,” he said.

This scandal has tainted Oloyede “sainthood.”

When Prof. Ishaq Oloyede took over the reins of JAMB in 2016, the revamping of the board’s operations in the space of three years made people applaud him. Over the years, his management made the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) much more credible than before. And for the first time, the board began to handle the processing of admissions to tertiary institutions through the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) in 2017. However, many social media users have taken to their pages to say that the professor was not that “saintly” as they had thought he was.

Related Links

Wikipedia: Website   JAMB: Website

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