Skip to main content

Protests In Nigerian Government Agency, ITF Over Alleged Lopsided Appointments, Promotions

Protests In Nigerian Government Agency, ITF Over Alleged Lopsided Appointments, Promotions
December 8, 2022

The group in the letter further alleged fraudulent award of contracts in the fund, without recourse to the civil service rules.

There is disquiet at the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, over alleged lopsided appointments and promotion of workers at the agency under the Director-General, Joseph Ari.

This is just as the coalition of Northern Human Rights Groups (NHRG) sent a protest letter to the office of the Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, calling for a probe into the agency and the removal of the DG, Ari.

The group in the letter further alleged fraudulent award of contracts in the fund, without recourse to the civil service rules.

The letter signed by Vincent Okpekwu, Secretary General and Head of Mission of NHRG said, “It may interest the minister to know that the ITF under Joseph Ari has deviated from its mandate, and this has consequently affected staff morale to the extent that, as it stands, staffers of the agency have resigned to their fate by engaging in unwholesome acts at the detriment of the agency.

"Promotion in the agency has been monetised and, in most instances, based on religious and ethnic considerations. Staffers from a particular religion and ethnicity are viewed and treated as outcast, while those that share the same affinity with the DG are given preferential treatment when it is evident that these individuals are lacking in the requisite qualification and experience.”

It could be recalled that in 2021, the agency's staffers accused the director general of running the agency like a private estate, with the bulk of recruitment into the agency reserved for indigenes of Plateau State and environs.

The DG was also accused of contract inflation and indiscriminate award of contracts to friends and cronies without recourse to procurement processes.

"To this end, we wish to inform the honourable minister of our intention to stage a protest rally at the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in conjunction with over 24 civil society groups across the 19 northern states in the country.

"The protest rally at the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment is slated for 14th December 2022. We wish to implore the honourable minister to kindly receive the protesters,” the letter added.

"We wish to state that this protest rally is in the country's best interest as we can't afford such a visible case of incompetence, nepotism and outright diversion of public funds at the ITF.”