Sunday 25th June, 2017
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SEC in secret employment of Northerners

SEC in secret employment of Northerners

The Securities and Exchange Commis­sion (SEC) has se­cretly employed 20 mem­bers of staff, most of them from Kano State and a few states in the North.
 
The interview of the can­didates, which some top of­ficials of the agency con­demned, was carried out on December 23, 2016 while the affected workers were hur­riedly asked to report for work on Wednesday, De­cember 27.
Critics of the exercise said that the workers were engaged when activities in SEC were almost shut down for the year and they were asked to report for work af­ter the Christmas holidays without any induction or training.
The critics also alleged that the vacancies were not advertised while the man­agement favoured candi­dates from northern states, especially Kano State, the home-state of SEC’s Di­rector-General, Mounir Gwarzo.
 
Although SEC told The AUTHORITY that the posi­tions were not advertised be­cause they were for junior of­ficers, it was learnt that the candidates ought to come from the catchment states of Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and the Federal Capital Ter­ritory (FCT) but the agency gave preferential treatment to Kano.
While SEC said it ob­tained a waiver from the Fed­eral Character Commission for the recruitment of 20 jun­ior staff, a source at the com­mission told The AUTHORI­TY that some senior workers were also employed.
SEC, which has been in a running battle with the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Char­acter over a similar employ­ment last year, is said to have frozen all training allowanc­es in the New Year for lack of funds.
A source in SEC affirmed that no fewer than 20 people were employed after an in­terview on Friday, December 23 into the junior and sen­ior staff cadres of the com­mission.
The source, who did not wish to be named for fear of victimisation, said it was un­usual for SEC to interview people on Friday and letters of appointment issued im­mediately and the employ­ees resuming work within a week.
He said: “No training or induction was conducted. The whole thing was shroud­ed in secrecy and most mem­bers of staff in the commis­sion were not even aware of what was going on.”
When contacted on the issue, SEC’s Head of Corpo­rate Communications, Naif Abdulssalam, said that there was nothing unusual in the recruitment process as the commission sought and ob­tained a waiver from the Fed­eral Character Commission not to advertise the positions.
He denied that any inter­view took place on Decem­ber 23, 2016, claiming that the process was ongoing.
Abdulssalam, who showed a copy of the waiver from the Federal Character Commission which was dat­ed December 20 to The AU­THORITY, noted that the practice was common when institutions are seeking tar­geted employment.
Also speaking to The AUTHORITY on the issue, the Public Relations Offic­er of the Federal Character Commission, Abdullahi Id­ris, confirmed that a waiver was granted to SEC on ad­vertisement to recruit junior employees.
He explained that waiv­ers are granted on such cases when the number of those to be recruited is minimal and for the exigency of time.
Idris stated that to avoid “a mountain of applications for a few positions, the com­mission grants waivers to agencies, especially when the cost of such process is con­sidered.”
Idris said although he had not seen the file on the SEC’s application for a waiver, he was sure the commission had a good reason for grant­ing the waiver.
He further explained that for junior cadre, the strict ap­plication of Federal Charac­ter Principle does not apply because “employment at that level is expected to take the catchment area of the host state or in this case the Fed­eral Capital Territory and the surrounding catchment states into consideration”.
He said the commission’s job is to ensure that the Fed­eral Character balancing in­dex was followed in the re­cruitment process and “there is nothing secret about it.”

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