By Edeth Udoh
The 32 out of 276 employees of the National Examination Council (NECO) employed in December 2017 are appealing to the National Assembly for help. They want the law makers to call on NECO to regularize their employment and pay their salaries.
Speaking to our correspondent in Lagos under anonymity the two who volunteered on behalf of the 32 affected employees said they were employed in 2017 by the then Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Professor Charles Uwakwe, before he was suspended and since then they have not been paid.
They complained that they have done the necessary documentation including the Integrated Pay-roll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) capturing but yet nothing has been done, adding that they have not been informed why they are not paid.
They said although their appointment letter was approved and issued in December 2017 before the then substantive Registrar, Prof. Uwakwe was suspended, the Acting Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abubakar Gana, who took over from Prof. Uwakwe has refused to continue with the process.
According to them, “the most annoying thing is that about 244 people out of 276 have been receiving salaries since January 2018 till date. We were all posted to different states of the federation. We all resigned our jobs to take this one and some of us have rented homes and worked for some time before we became stranded.
“We were never addressed or informed as to why we have not been paid our salaries. In fact all our communications to NECO management has never been attended to. NECO management hid the information of the 32 of us from the governing council overseeing the activities of NECO until we presented to the council ourselves. They never promised to pay in any occasion. They pretended as though we don’t exist.
“We want tell you that the top hierarchy of NECO had their own candidates who were employed with us who are receiving salaries. The substantive registrar that employed all of us did not complete the process of pay-rolling all of us before he was suspended by the governing board that was constituted in March 2018 by the ministry of education to investigate allegation of financial mismanagement leveled against him.
Efforts by our correspondent to speak with the Acting Registrar of the Council, Mr. Abubakar M. Gana proved abortive as he did not pick his calls.
Speaking on the issue in a telephone interview with our correspondent, the Human Resources Director, NECO, Mr. Mustapha alleged that the entire process of that employment was a scam masterminded by the former Finance Director (name withheld) which he said is now a regular visit to the office of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
“Tell me where in the world do you see the Director of Finance conducting employment exercise instead of the Human Resources department? This shows that the employment exercise conducted in December 2017 was a scam, total fraud.”
“Again, where else in the world do you see employment being conducted in December instead of January? This shows that the exercise was a scam. It was hurried done by the former Director of Finance who is today a regular visitor at EFCC to answer questions.”
Reacting to the claim by the Human Resources Director, Mr. Mustapha, that the 2017 employment exercise at NECO under his supervision was a scam, the former Registrar and Chief Executive officer of the NECO, who is currently on suspension, Prof. Charles Ukwakwe, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, dispelled the Human Resources Director’s claim as untrue, saying “whoever is saying that is not saying the truth”
“If anybody is saying that the 2017 employment exercise in NECO under my supervision as the Registrar/Chief Executive was a scam, the person is liar.
“If it was a scam as claimed, why is it that majority of those employed during the period are receiving their salaries and others are not? Whoever is saying the exercise was a scam should think well,” Prof. Uwakwe said.
Some of the documents issued by NECO to the 32 affected employees and those written by them to NECO as sighted by our correspondent include: appointment letter dated December 13, 2020 with Ref: NECO/RO/SR/17/….. signed by the former Human Resources Director, Inuwa Audu Fuka on behalf of the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer; Notification form for IPPIS capturing dated January 21, 2019 signed by Human Resources Director, Inuwa Audu Fuka; Circular from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation; Federal Ministry of Finance with Ref: OAGF/IPPIS/93/1/87, dated August 29, 2019 to all MDAs to ensure completion of IPPIS formalities of newly employed staff signed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.