ICPC nabs consultant for allegedly fleecing job seekers

ICPCThe Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has uncovered an employment scam involving a consultant with the Ministry of Power, Firstgate Business Intermediaries Limited (FBIL), and its chief executive officer, Kelvin Asogwa for allegedly using the name of the ministry, and other MDAs such as Ministries of Youths & Sports Development and that of Trade and Investment to dupe innocent job seekers of hard earned money.

Specifically, the commission raised the alarm on Tuesday, warning ministries and agencies to do background checks before appointing consultants.

According to the Media Consultant to ICPC, Folu Olamiti said the company had already used the names of the affected ministries to fleece job seekers of up to N5.2 million, the amount which the commission is now forcing them to refund to victims through the ICPC Recovery Account.

“Plans by a firm, Firstgate Business Intermediaries Limited (FBIL), few months ago to pocket the sum of N5.2 million from 1,379 applicants in Nigeria through tempting international job offers has been halted through prompt intervention by the ICPC.

Before the intervention of ICPC, the company, through newspaper advertorials, had raked in the huge sum by offering job seekers mouth-watering remunerations through internship with foreign multinational companies and manufacturing industries”.

“Many applicants had rushed to apply, each paying the sum of N3,500 demanded as non-refundable fee”, Olamiti stated, explaining further that the company had succeeded because it claimed to be in partnership with the Federal Ministries of Power, Youths & Sports Development and that of Trade and Investment to arrange the recruitment of Nigerian youths for international job opportunities.

The company, however, ran out of luck when the former Ministry of Youths Development disassociated itself from the antics of FBIL on job offers and published a disclaimer in some national dailies, which eventually attracted the attention of ICPC.

“Findings have revealed that although the Federal Ministry of Power appointed the MD/CEO of FBIL, Kelvin Asogwa as its consultant to undertake and drive its initiative for building the capacity of youths in six geo-political zones of the federation, it was never part of the plan to recruit and collect monies from applicants for unverified international job offers”, Olamiti said.

He also explained that the Ministry of Power had also issued a disclaimer, stating that it never authorised FBIL to advertise and charge fees from Nigerian youths on the initial assignment given to it. The Ministry insisted that there was no communication from it to other Ministries who were listed as partners.

The ICPC has however frozen the accounts of the company, and got it to make a commitment for a refund of the money collected to affected applicants through ICPC Recovery account. The commission has advised affected applicants to make formal written request for the refund of the fees which they had paid into the company’s First Bank Plc. account Number 2027076297 by letter addressed to the Chairman ICPC stating their full names, address, bank account and BVN numbers, telephone numbers and amounts paid.

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