By Ubong Sampson
Member Representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Barr. Onofiok Luke has expressed disappointment over the rate and manner employment opportunities in the country are being shrouded in secrecy by people in positions of authority, saying that such practice is not helping the common man and youths in the country.
Luke made the expression in Abuja on Tuesday during plenary, as was presided by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
In his contribution to a motion by his colleague, Hon. Yusuf Gadgi (Babayo) of Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State on the clandestine recruitment in some ministries, departments and agencies of government, Barr. Luke registered his support for the motion by asking those saddled with responsibility in public places to be transparent in the delivery of their duties. “We have heard about cases of employment shrouded in secrecy and this is not going down well with the common man and the youths of Nigeria”, he added.
Luke who is the immediate past Speaker of the state legislature in Akwa Ibom, noted that he was lending his voice in support of Gadgi’s motion because he (Luke) represents the youths of Nigeria in the Green Chamber and so shares in their yearning and aspiration, having served them as Pioneer Speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament some years ago.
His words: “there is angst that is paramount and experienced most epecially by the youth bracket of this country, and we should not in our actions as public officials do anything to increase the degree of that angst. We should be seen in our conduct and engagements with the people that gave us their vote, to be transparent at every point in time. That is the only way to mitigate this angst that is growing within the Nigerian populace.
“I therefore urge this house to rise in unison, while also urging my colleagues to lend their voices and support the motion because we must be seen, not only mouthing as the people’s parliament, but also act and stand as for Nigerians, most importantly the unemployed, most importantly, the youth bracket that constitute the largest number of the population”.
The Akwa Ibom born federal Lawmaker moved to suggest that an adhoc committee be set up by the House to look into the matter, showing the need with an instance that Akwa Ibom, his state of origin is the largest producer of oil and gives the largest quota to the nation, yet only few of her people are being employed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and even in the federal civil service, describing the situation as saddening.
“It is also sad that even when those opportunities are made open, they make the conditions for employment very stringent, requiring a man who is just 25 years of age to have a certain number of years in experience. And if you add that to the normal years of passing through school, he would be above that 25 years.
“Most of these issues have to be addressed and I believe that the adhoc committee in place before the inauguration of the standing committee will be able to address this issue before it is too late. This is my reason for supporting the motion in strict terms including the prayers as enshrined in the motion”, Luke added.
The House at the end of deliberations on the motion, resolved to probe the alleged clandestine recruitment in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
While moving his motion, Gagdi had hinted that instead of following due process of law, some MDAs are using the “back door” to recruit for vacant positions
He pointed fingers specifically to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Ports Authority.