The Nigerian Senate has taken decisive action to investigate claims of lopsided recruitment within the Federal Civil Service in response to growing concerns over alleged unfair employment practices. It has therefore mandated its Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter.

This development emerged after the Senate considered and approved a motion titled “Urgent Need to Ensure Federal Character Principle, Curb Lopsidedness, and Emerging Infractions in the Recruitment and Deployment of Officers by the Federal Civil Service Commission and Related Agencies”, sponsored by Senator Titus Zam of the All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Benue North West.

Senator Zam highlighted the central role of the Federal Civil Service Commission in recruiting and deploying qualified officers to the federal civil service, stressing that the commission’s vision of building a highly focused, disciplined, committed, and patriotic civil service hinges on fair and equitable recruitment through the advertisement of vacancies has been distorted.

Expressing concern about what he termed a “counter-productive malady,” Senator Zam alluded to allegations of illegal recruitment and employment practices that have recently surfaced within the commission.

He further noted that this issue has extended into various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), affecting numerous segments of the civil service.

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Senator Zam argued that failure to promptly address this situation and adhere to the Federal Character principle could weaken the cohesion of the civil service, resulting in adverse consequences for governance and service delivery.

Several other senators who participated in the debate expressed their support for the motion, emphasizing the need to address the marginalization of constituents in public service jobs.

In an interview after plenary, Senator Zam clarified that the motion aimed to rectify the underrepresentation of his constituents in federal public service positions. He stressed that the Federal Character principle seeks to ensure equitable employment opportunities for all regions of the country and ensure inclusiveness in public sector recruitment.

He specifically pointed out that, in some cases, his home state of Benue did not receive a fair allocation of employment opportunities in the Federal Civil Service. Moreover, even when positions were allocated, they often failed to reflect the state’s diversity, with certain regions being favored over others. This imbalance has led to a lack of proper representation for Benue State in federal ministries, which the senator sought to address through the motion.

The investigation by the Senate’s Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters is expected to shed light on the alleged recruitment irregularities and formulate recommendations to ensure fairness and compliance with the Federal Character principle in the federal civil service recruitment process.