Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:11 pm
Permanent secretaries and directors will be made to answer for the billions of naira spent on 8, 879 ghost workers recently uncovered in the payroll of Kogi, the government has said.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mrs Petra Akinti-Onyegbule, in Lokoja on Wednesday, the government said the ghost workers collected over N16 billion as salary and allowances in 13 years.
Akinti-Onyegbule said that the ghost workers were discovered by a staff screening and verification committee set up by the state government.
“ For this figure, permanent secretaries, directors of local government and treasurers and other key senior personnel will be made to answer for the funds expended on them over the years,”’ she said.
Akinti-Onyegbule said 43,522 workers passed the screening while 32,753 others were not cleared.
“ That a worker is uncleared is not the same as having been declared a ghost worker. Ghost workers are those without a face but whose names were used over the years to siphon funds.
“ For people who have been placed on the uncleared list, all they need to do is prove they deserve to be cleared.
“ We have a few cases of omission of names. Uncleared workers and those omitted will be given one last chance of clearing their status. The schedule of appearance will be announced between now and Jan. 23,” she said.
Akinti-Onyegbule said the exercise was not mere screening but aimed at the total overhaul of the civil service system with a view to putting it in good stead for quality service delivery.
She admitted that the exercise caused some pains to workers but added that they would be its greatest beneficiaries.
The spokesperson said although the exercise had made the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello unpopular to some extent the government was happy doing the right thing for the system.
“ A good leader is not one who should necessarily be loved while he is working.
‘’A good leader is one who is not afraid to take tough decisions for the ultimate good of his people.
‘’A good leader is one who moves when he should even if it means stepping on toes in the process, “ she explained.
The staff verification has placed the government at loggerheads with workers.
In spite of workers’ opposition, the government insists on implementing the recommendations of the committee which carried out the assignment to sanitise the service.
The government accuses those involved in the payment of salaries to ghost workers of using public resources to enrich themselves to the detriment of the youth. (NAN)