Lobbying by some ministers and All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts to get slots for their loyalists is delaying recruitment into the Nigeria Police. This situation has become worrisome to the Police Service Commission (PSC).
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s order for the recruitment of 10,000 personnel last year, the PSC opened a recruitment portal on April 1, 2016. However, the Assistant Director, Press in the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani said there was no cause for alarm as the process was on course and would be delivered on time.
The Guardian investigations revealed that many of the candidates painstakingly went through the process of physical screening and aptitude test and are awaiting results.They are hopeful of success, following reported assurances by the PSC Chairman, Mike Okiro that the recruitment would be merit-based, as all applicants would be fairly treated and given equal opportunities.
Competent sources at the PSC said: “To be honest the delay in the process is not because the commission cannot do it, but the series of notes sent in by some ministers with names of their candidates. This has greatly impeded the speedy execution of the mandate to get the 10,000 personnel recruited into the force. “Big political office holders, APC chieftains have their interest. We are compelled to smuggle in names of people that were not there in the first place and remove names of candidates that have gone through the screening process and are better qualified.“This is common in the country, some of these names were not on the first list of applicants that passed the screening, however, their names have being smuggled in.”
The source however, assured The Guardian that the critical part of the screening had been concluded with an aptitude test, “Although the Sallah holidays affected the process.”
On whether paucity of funds contributed to the delay, the source said: “Funds were released earlier this year by the presidency for the renovation of the training facilities, screening exercise and the recruitment. Uniforms, allowances and all that were released to the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), so there has been no problem with logistics.”
He added: “It may happen before next week, because even at the commission they are not comfortable because the process was to begin last year, but the excuse was that it was not in the 2015 budget. This year that the money has been released, it is becoming very difficult, due to one reason or another.
“But all the challenges would be over soon, and the process would be completed,” he assured.