Recruitment racket feeds fat on Peace Corps candidates

Posted by News Express | 8 October 2017 | 4,353 times

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•Peace Corps members during a parade

The controversy surrounding last year’s recruitment by the Peace Corps of Nigeria, had yet to be resolved, as some personnel claimed that they paid through the nose to secure enlistment into the organisation. Investigation revealed that the personnel some amount to get enlisted. How much did the Peace Corps of Nigeria collect from applicants in 2016?

Was it forty thousand naira (N40,000), or a hundred thousand naira (N100,000)? Again, is the organisation recruiting? Investigation has revealed, that some personnel of the Corps, who participated in a one-month training exercise last year, may have paid as much as N100,000, to resume training at designated camps.

Aside from the alleged payment, some of the affected persons further alleged that training items said to have been captured in the fee charged for form, were later sold to “trainees” in camp.

But, the Peace Corps has since described the claim as false, insisting that its form was sold for N40,000. The organisation further stated that the money covered accommodation, medicals and other expenses. One of the successful applicants, in an interview with our correspondent, said during the training, they were made to pay for Passing-Out-Parade (POP), buy training kits, among others.

The personnel, who pleaded for anonymity, for fear of being victimised, said his documentation had been completed. His words: “I paid N100,000 (and) I paid N7,000 for Passing Out Parade (POP), and N2,700 for Boot, N500 for Magazine, plate (N500). Magazine I didn’t get, …plate I didn’t get. Name tag, 300, I didn’t get.

I paid N1,200 for T-shirt, which I got. “Cardigan was N3,500, but I didn’t pay, sleeveless cardigan was N2,500; I also didn’t pay. I paid the N100,000 before I went for training.” He further alleged that “after camping, they called us to the office, that we should pay N6,500 for documentation.” Meanwhile, another personnel, who claimed to be an “officer”, had offered to help secure placement for any interested person.

The “officer”, who spoke in confidence with Sunday Telegraph, said: “But, if there is anybody that is interested, I can still do something for the person.” Asked how much will be required, he said: “He should bring N100,000, and N10,000 for transportation; the other one (N100,000) is for my ‘oga’.” Reacting to the allegations, the spokesperson for the Peace Corps, Ms Milicent Umoru, said it was not true that N100,000 was paid for enlistment. This was as she denied claims that recruitment was still ongoing.

According to her, procurement of form was not a guarantee for automatic employment, as applicants were made to obtain endorsements from court and hospital, to make them eligible for training.

“I want to make it clear that Peace Corps of Nigeria is not collecting money from anybody for recruitment. Secondly, we are not recruiting currently. “The process of recruitment is this: you get the form, which is for N1,500 in the office, and not go to get it from the back door. The form is not online. Secondly, you fill your form, take it to the court, and get it signed. You go to the hospital yourself, and get a doctor’s report…

“The N100,000 registration allegation is completely false. You first of all go through the training, and if you are able to scale through you will get a text message to say you’ve been successfully enlisted to go for training. And, the training is for one month.

“The amount you are going to pay, which is the subsidised amount of N40,000, is for your camp fee, accommodation, medical treatment, uniform kits… and all that. Your …ID Card, certificate of training, training materials, training manuals are all encompassing inside this N40,000,” Umoru said.

On how the organisation met its salary obligation to staff, since it had yet to be accorded full statutory recognition and budgetary allocation, she said: “Basically, Peace Corps officers work in schools.

When they are posted to schools, the schools take care of their salaries, pending when government takes over.”

It will be recalled that the House of Representatives had, sometime in July, passed the National Peace Corps bill into law, in concurrence with the House of Representatives. Until it gets presidential assent, the processes leading to Peace Corps’ establishment remain inchoate. Currently, Peace Corps has over 140,000 regular and volunteer staff. According to the organisation’s spokesman: “The last camp we had was at Kwara State, and it was last year.”

When asked where the training exercise held, she said: “We use NYSC Camps or government schools/facilities for our training/camps.”

•Text courtesy of Sunday Telegraph.



Source: News Express

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