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Benue is located in Nigeria’s north-central sub-region/File Photo

The Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), on Monday, said that the recruitment of 375 contract staff into the service was based on local governments spread and qualifications, Concise News reports.

The BIRS Chairman, Andrew Ayabam, told newsmen in Makurdi that all the 23 councils were represented in the recruitment.

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Ayabam was reacting to the public outcry that trailed the recruitment and the allegations by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the exercise was fraught with nepotism.

According to NAN, the board had on Sunday, released the names of the 375 successful candidates and directed them to come for induction and documentation on Monday.

Ayabam explained that the recruitment of contract staff did not need to follow quota system but competence, qualification and spread.

Although he said that the exercise was strictly for graduates, he, however, added that many applicants without degree qualifications also applied for the jobs.

The BIRS chairman said that the exercise would be a continuous one, adding that the BIRS portal would continue to remain open for interested applicants to forward their applications.

He also disclosed that the board received about 10,000 applications for the 375 vacancies.

“We have to hire Benue indigenes who are graduates to work for BIRS for the development of the state.

“These are contract staff and we are not required to follow federal character principle. BIRS has, however, remained very fair in the recruitment exercise. I can bet you that each local government is represented in the exercise,” he said.

Ayabam also said that Governor Samuel Ortom did not intervene in the recruitment process, as it was being speculated on the social media.

However, the APC in the state, in a statement issued by James Ornguga, its acting State Publicity Secretary, said that the entire recruitment process was a complete sham.

“The tone of the press release announcing the recruitment clearly showed it might have been signed under duress, as it violates the standard administrative procedure for such announcements.

“More worrisome is the fact that half of the candidates are allegedly from the governor’s own local government while a few other lucky persons recommended by his political associates narrowly made the list.

“With this sham of a recruitment already in place at a board that should be generating revenue for the state, we can tell the end from the beginning that no serious output can come from it, save for a clandestine political settlement.

“We are aware of evidently noticeable political schemes trying to muzzle the new BIRS Chairman, Mr Andrew Ayabam, to urgently take the shine off him as “Mr Employment” for suspected intentions,” the party said.

It called on Ayabam to resign his appointment immediately in order to save his ‘hard-earned reputation’.