The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has debunked reports of sacking 48 workers recruited in 2019, adding that it only terminated the “questionable and hurriedly arranged recruitment” of 48 persons.

In a statement on Sunday by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Ezekiel Manzo, titled: ‘NEMA’s purported sack of 48 workers – setting the records straight’, NEMA said the recruitment that gave appointment letters to the 48 persons was marred by irregularities.

According to the emergency management agency, the newspaper’s two publications of Wednesday, February 10, 2021, and Thursday, February 11, 2021, on the matter, misrepresented the true state of affairs.

Manzo said: “Contrary to the allegations in these publications, the Agency did not sack any staff. Rather, the management of the Agency only correctly nullified a questionable and hurriedly arranged recruitment that was marred by irregularities and lack of adherence to established procedures for recruitment into the Public Service.

“Those claimed to have been sacked were candidates of that spurious exercise.”

It said: “Although approval was obtained from the NEMA Governing Council for recruitment in 2018, there are other complementary and critical procedures that were not followed, which effectively invalidated the exercise. These include obtaining approval from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation with regards to established vacancies and manpower budget.

“The supervising ministry of NEMA, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, was also completely excluded from the recruitment. The standard protocol dictates that the Ministry, which was created and assigned a supervisory role over the Agency in 2019, must be briefed and involved in such exercises.

“On the allegation that salaries of the said candidates were unpaid for one year, it must be clearly restated that NEMA does not pay salaries of Public Servants.”

Recall that NEMA was accused of sacking 48 workers, one year after they were recruited.

A report by Daily Trust claimed that in 2019, 48 Nigerians were employed by the agency under the leadership of its former Director-General, Mustapha Maihaja.

The staff were given appointment letters dated December 24, 2019, and signed by Maihaja.

However, a copy of the letter seen by Daily Trust showed that the agency cancelled the same recruitment in January 2021 over alleged non-adherence to “the laid down rules and regulations guiding recruitment into the civil service.”

The new employees whose appointments were terminated about a year after being hired told the news medium that they were subjected to a rigorous selection process and were made to resign from their former jobs, to secure the NEMA jobs.

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