From CHRISTIANA EKPA, Lokoja
The Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has disclosed that the state in which he governs is critically sick and cancerous, as the screening committee set up by him discovered over 9000 ghost workers on its payroll.
The governor, who disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting where the committee and government workers presented its preliminary report, said efforts would be made to heal the state.
According to him, his administration would ensure that no civil servant is unjustly removed from the payrolls, saying, “workers reserve the right to return to banks of their choice when everything normalises”.
Presenting the report, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Henry Agbaji, said that over 9,000 ghost workers failed to appeared before the committee for verification.
According to him, apart from pensioners, a total of 9,720 persons across the state did not show up for the screening exercise, noting that this had reduced the workforce even before commencement of the screening.
He explained that over 81,000 staff and pensioners in both state and the 21 local government areas were screened by the committee following the resolve of the state government to clean up the system and have a clean payroll.
The committee chairman added that 25,208 forms were issued across the 21 Local government areas of the state but only 22,272 presented themselves for the screening, while 2,936 assumed workers failed to appear, saying that “they were considered as immediate ghost workers in the state”.
Agbaji said the committee discovered some persons were screened but their names were omitted from the successful screening list and that prompted the governor to set up a back up committee to address such issues.
He also said 25,662 screening forms were issued to the primary school teachers were but only 22,608 submitted themselves for the exercise, meaning the 3,054 teachers who did not show up are also ghost workers.
The Chairman of the committee lamented that some workers had issues ranging from forged certificates, lack of Bank Verification Number (BVN), no statement of bank account while some worked in another state but draw salaries either in the state or at the local government council of Kogi state.
Corroborating the committee chairman, the Auditor General of Local Government in the state, Alhaji Ahmed Ododo, who headed the backup committee that analysed the findings of the main committee, revealed that over 40 untreated forms was included the screened list.
He noted that some anomalies discovered in the activities of the screening committee had shown that certain people were bent on sabotaging the effort of the government.
Speaking on the findings of the committee, he said, “In College of Education Ankpa it was discovered that one Mr. Orokpo David who was born in 1961 and joined civil service in 1977 and has worked for 39yrs was discovered to have been cleared by the screening committee.
“Also in Kogi State University, there was a case of double employment were a man identified as Dr. Alabi David Oladele has two forms duly filled and signed by him and he was cleared.
It was discovered that Dr. Alabi is a staff of KSU and also a staff of Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, this man draws salaries amounting to N560,000 each from the two places”
He also said the committee uncovered that Kogi State Polytechnic staff strength was over bloated with over 1200 staff, appealing to Governor Yahaya Bello to delegate a team to the institution to identify 1200 tables and chairs of the same figure.