Some workers in the Federal Government’s Industrial Training Fund have accused the Director-General of the agency, Joseph Ari, of nepotism and marginalisation.

Ari was also accused of awarding fraudulent contracts to family members without recourse to procedure and due process as well as illegally promoting female workers without regard for public service rules.

Joseph Ari

Speaking to SaharaReporters, a staff alleged that the DG has been running the agency like a personal estate.

“Nepotism is at its peak in this agency as wrongful employment of Plateau State indigenes is the order of the day,” he said.

“We keep wondering why the President gave him a second term. He has turned the agency to his personal estate. He prefers to promote female workers for hidden reasons without regard for public service rules.

“Even his appointment did not follow due process. He ought not to be reappointed in the first place. He was first employed into ITF in 2006 as Deputy Director on a permanent and pensionable basis after retiring as a Permanent Secretary in the Plateau civil service.”

Another worker added, “Sequel to complaints about this irregularity, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment investigated the matter. It was established that he was receiving pension from the state’s civil service.

“The ministry therefore terminated his appointment and ordered that all money paid to him by ITF should be refunded. But this was not done.

“But to our surprise, this same man was announced as the new Director General in 2016 and re-appointed in 2020 in total disregard of civil service rules.”

Also, another source accused the ITF boss of defrauding the agency with illegal award of contracts to family members and close allies.

He added that Ari has drained the bank accounts of agency without any significant project to match the huge funds allocated to it annually.

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