Joseph Ari, the Director-General of the Federal Government’s Industrial Training Fund, has been accused of nepotism and marginalization by some employees.
Ari was also accused of providing fraudulent contracts to family members without recourse to procedure or due process, as well as illegally elevating female employees in violation of government guidelines.
A staff member told africanseye that the DG is running the agency like a personal estate.
“In this agency, nepotism is at an all-time high, with illegitimate hiring of Plateau State indigenes the norm,” he stated.
“We’re always perplexed as to why the President allowed him a second term. He’s made the agency his personal property. For unknown reasons, he likes to promote female employees over male employees, disregarding public service norms.
“Even his appointment did not go via the proper channels. In the first place, he should not have been reappointed. After retiring as a Permanent Secretary in the Plateau civil service, he joined ITF in 2006 as Deputy Director on a permanent and pensionable basis.”
“Following complaints about this discrepancy, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment investigated the matter,” another worker remarked. It was discovered that he was collecting a state civil service pension.
“As a result, the ministry terminated his employment and ordered that any funds paid to him by ITF be repaid. This, however, was not done.
“However, in flagrant defiance of civil service standards, this same man was proclaimed as the new Director General in 2016 and re-appointed in 2020.”
Another source accused the ITF chief of cheating the agency by awarding contracts to family members and close cronies without authority.
Ari, he continued, has emptied the agency’s bank accounts without completing any big projects to match the large sums of money granted to it each year.