A bill seeking the criminalisation of secret recruitment in government agencies on Wednesday passed for second reading in the Nigerian Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South), will make employment without prior advertisement by Ministries, department and Agencies (MDAs) an offence.
The senate hopes that the bill, if eventually passed, will promote integrity and transparency in the recruitment of personnel into the Federal Civil Service.
The bill is titled “A Bill for An Act to Make It an Offence for Vacant Positions in the Federal Civil Service to be Filled Without Their Being Advertised and For Other Matters Connected Therewith, 2017”.
It proposes that, “(1) Any person, who violates the provisions of Section 1, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N300,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or to both.
“Where a federal ministry, agency or parastatal commits an offence under subsection (1), any officer, director or agent of the federal ministry, agency or parastatals, who directed, authorised, assented to or acquiesced to or participated in the commission of the offence, is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the federal ministry, agency or parastatal has been prosecuted for or convicted for the offence.”
Describing it as “a very important bill” and “a bill for the people” after it was read for the second time on Wednesday, Senate President Bukola Saraki, said, “This bill will definitely help every Nigerian to feel some sense that there is an opportunity to be able to apply (for jobs) and have the fighting chance.
“For the first time, it will also hold heads of government agencies responsible to ensure compliance or they face punitive measures. We will try and ensure that this bill is fast-tracked so that, quickly, we can pass it and it can start being implemented,” he said.