Senate to accelerate passage of Vacancies Bill by september


Bukola Saraki, Senate President.

Bukola Saraki, Senate President.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says the Senate will accelerate  passage of Existing Vacancies in the Federal Civil Service (Prohibition) Bill when it resumes in September.

Saraki made this known in Abuja on Thursday via a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu.

Saraki said that the bill, which was due for second reading, would be given priority.

He said that passage of the bill would be one of senate’s legislative interventions to curb increasing rate of illegal recruitment into federal government agencies and parastatals.

“The Existing Vacancies Bill will put in place clear-cut procedures that will help to curb and possibly end the trend of silent or underground recruitment.

“This country belongs to every Nigerian, and as such, all vacancies that exist in the Federal Civil Service should be properly advertised to give every Nigerian that meets the requirement a chance to apply,’’ he said.

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Saraki explained that the objective of the bill, which was introduced by the Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Biodun Olujimi, was to promote integrity and transparency in the recruitment of personnel into the service.

He said that when the bill was passed and assent to, it would be an offence for a federal ministry, agency or parastatal to fill existing vacancies in its organisation without advertisement.

“With this bill, we will set time-frames for recruitment and the publication of recruitment in national dailies.

“This will make it the duty of the heads of government agencies and ministries to ensure compliance or face punitive measures.

“This bill will also help to ensure that the mandate of the Federal Character Commission is followed to the letter.

“This is by imposing punitive measures on those that choose to intentionally flout the law by embarking on secret recruitment within the MDAs under their purview.

“This illegal recruitment trend needs to stop and when we resume, we will begin to work towards enshrining this in our laws,” Saraki said.