By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
â€ŽDespite the directive given by the federal government to all para-military services in country â€Žfor the harmonisation in promotions, salaries and other allowances of graduates of the Higher National Diploma (HND) from polytechnics and university degree holders, some personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) are complaining that the NSCDCâ€Ž is yet to comply.
They said following a statement by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji, regularising the harmonisation, the NSCDC is reluctant to effect the approval given by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau.
However, speaking with THISDAY in an exclusive interview, the Publicâ€Ž Relations Officer of NSCDC, Mr. Emmanuel Okeh, debunked the allegation that the Corps has not complied with the directive of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board (CDFIPB).
According to him, all the names of the personnel of the Corps that are genuinely affected have been submitted to the CDFIPB for onward review, adding that NSCDC has complied with the directive of the Board the moment the Corps received a circular from it.
Okeh challenged any officer of the NSCDC who claimed to be genuinely affected to produce his/her letter of employment for the world to see, with the claim that each personnel in the Corps took his/her destiny in his/her hands.
He said: “This question is to be directed to the Board because all names of those genuinely affected have been submitted for onward review. The Board send circulars to all the organisations and we have since complied.
“Many of them come looking for jobs and even when you tell them that there’s no vacancy for graduates, they will tell you that they don’t mind the level given them as long as they will get a job. So if you were a graduate and you were employed with a school certificate, you can’t come back and claim that you are a graduate or have a master’s degree and you are answerable to a degree holder. Tell them to come with their letters of employment because this was clearly stated in the letters.
“Those genuinely affected are those who came into the service as graduates with HND certificates. Tâ€Žhey are the only ones that will be considered except if there’s a policy to carry the others along, but for now, there’s no such thing.”
When THISDAY sought to know if the not ‘genuine’ personnel were aware of the modalities involved â€Žin the harmonisation exercise, the PRO responded by saying it had to do with human flaws which are normal.
“You know how human beings are like. It’s not as if they didn’t know when they applied for the job with lesser qualifications. The service is aware of this and that’s why everything was clearly stated. â€ŽSo yes, I can say they chose their destiny and took it in their hands and this is not the fault of the NSCDC,” he said.
The federal government had abolished the dichotomy between university degree holders and those of HND in the paramilitary services as announced by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji.
Magaji in a statement had revealed that â€œthe Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board (CDFIPB), at the end of its meeting held on Tuesday, 11th July 2017, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, approved the regularization of the dichotomy between holders of University degrees and Higher National Diploma (HND) in all the Services.
â€œTo this end, the Board directed that all officers with HND to be upgraded to COMPASS 08, which is the salary Grade Level for holders of Degree certificates at entry point. While the nomenclature for the HND holders will start with the Rank of Senior Inspector, the Degree holders are with the rank of Assistant Superintendent II.â€
The statement equally added that â€œthe Board also approved the commencement of the Year 2017 Promotion Exercise for all the Services with effect from 17th July, 2017.â€