The Commissioner representing Lagos State at the Federal Character Commission, (FCC), Abdulwasiu Bawa-Allah said letters of indigene and clearance issued by Local Government in the State will no longer be acknowledged effective from December 2020.
The Commissioner informed that more than half of the total number of candidates who applied for the constable cadre of the Nigerian Police Force claiming Lagos origin presented a fake certificate of origin for the recruitment exercise.
He stated this at the Lagos office of the commission on Friday when he hosted Lagosians In Academic which is an umbrella body of lecturers of Lagos State origin in tertiary institutions across the country.
Addressing the concerns raised by the academicians on the poor representation of Lagos state indigenes in federal institutions across the state and unguided issuance of letters of the indigene, he said, “In the Nigerian Police recruitment exercise that was conducted for constable cadre, you will be shocked by the number of fake letters of indigene that were discovered at the screening. More than half of the participants that claim Lagos citizenship are not from the state.
Recognising this fact, we have concluded that letters of indigene and clearance issued by Local Government areas in Lagos State will no longer be acknowledged starting from December 2020.
Similarly, letters from Oba and chiefs will go through some level of clearance because some of them are in the habit of issuing certificates of origin to non-indigene of Lagos State which if discovered, such letters will no longer be accepted.
It is when we are able to address these problems and nip them in the bud that we can say we have attained equity in the appointment of Lagosians into the over 120 federal institutions across the state. As it stands, representation of Lagos State indigenes in federal institutions is below the statutory 2.5 per cent.”
While making a case for indigenes of the state, Spokesman for Lagosians In Academics, Dr Elegbede Babatunde revealed that letters of indigenes issued to non-indigenes of the state deprive true Lagosians opportunities to secure employment in federal institutions.
He said, “It is quite unfortunate that some of traditional rulers and chiefs in the state are blameworthy for unguided issuance of letters of indigene to non-indigenes. They issue these letters to them without thoroughly investigating their claims. We have seen cases of people from Ogun State and the other Southwest States gaining employment in federal institutions on the slots of Lagos State.
So as professionals in academic, we need to collaborate with the Federal Character Commission to enlighten our traditional rulers and chiefs, local government bosses and students on the dangers inherent in this practice. We also want to see the possibility of creating a Labour unit in the commission. If created, the unit will be responsible for identifying opportunities at the federal level and assisting qualified Lagosians to secure such opportunities.”
Also lamenting the dearth of employees of Lagos State origin in federal government parastatals particularly NIMASA and NPA, Chief Lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology, YabaTech, Dr Apena Akinkunmi said it is an absurdity that Lagos State has no representation in these federal agencies.
He said, “NIMASA has foreign scholarships which should be distributed evenly among citizens but we realised that 95 per cent of this scholarships were awarded to Niger Delta indigenes without any consideration for Lagos state indigenes.
With a critical look at the employees of the agency, we discovered that majority of these employees are from the North and South-East regions. So also is the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA where we have only Lagosian in the workforce of over 400 who are largely Northerners.”
Caption: From left: Dr Elegbede Babatunde, Commissioner representing Lagos State at the Federal Character Commission, Abdulwasiu Bawa-Allah, Chief Lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology, Dr Apena Akinkunmi and Dr Owoyemi Elegbeleye during a courtesy visit to the Lagos office of the commission on Friday.