President Muhammadu Buhari has warned political appointees and other government officials against using their positions to bestow undue advantage on anyone seeking government jobs and other favours.
In a statement on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, quoted the president as saying the action is “antithetical to the character of the administration”.
Mohammed said the president’s repeated warning followed persistent reports of fraudsters using the business cards and purported referral letters from presidential aides and other government officials to solicit employment, contract and other favours.
He said ministries, departments and agencies should disregard any purported request from government officials aiming to confer undue advantage on anyone seeking such favours.
He said the administration has put in place a systematic and disciplined approach to ensure that the government runs smoothly for all Nigerians, whether in the area of employment or contract procurement.
”This system should be allowed to work for all Nigerians without interference,” Mohammed said.
In the past few days, there has been an uproar about the planned recruitment of 774,000 citizens into the public works programme by the federal government.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, announced that the president approved the engagement of 774,000 Nigerians for the programme implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
In May, Festus Keyamo, minister of state, labour and employment, said up to 10 percent slots of the beneficiaries of the programme in each state would be allotted to political office holders “like our distinguished senators, honourable members, ministers and governors”.
But Keyamo later alleged that some politicians were trying to blackmail him over the recruitment into the special public works programme.
During a meeting at the national assembly on Tuesday, there was a heated exchange between Keyamo and some lawmakers who faulted the recruitment exercise.
The lawmakers accused the minister of hijacking the programme from the NDE, but Keyamo fired back, saying they were the ones trying to take over the project.