The crisis emanating from workers salary in Kogi state has been traced to the leniency of the Kogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Abdullahi Ndalaye disclosed this in Lokoja on Sunday during an interactive section between the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola and members of the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) who are in the state for an assessment tour.
His words: ‘If I am Yahaya Bello by now many people will be in jail paying for their crimes and they won’t be saying all that. I have confessional statement of a police officer earning salary from Kogi state government as a civil servant.
”I signed the document published in Leadership newspaper of people with forged certificates and other infractions. These are the same set of people crying that they have not received salaries.
‘They talk about endless screening; you should expect error margin of 5 or 10 percent in an exercise for over 80 civil servants and pensioners. Governor Yahaya Bello is humane and giving people with genuine cases to present evidence(s) to clear their names.”
He therefore advised affected workers with genuine cases to present their certificate and other supporting evidence to the committee for clearance.
Earlier, the Head of Service, Mrs Deborah Ogunmola said Governor Yahaya Bello meant well for Kogi state civil service as he has introduced reforms to make it more efficient, productive and effective.
Mrs Ogunmola disclosed that some people within the system are aware there are problems in the civil service and only a courageous leader can do what the governor is doing.
While explaining the controversy surrounding the screening exercise, she said the consultant discovered different categories of infractions including using fake certificate to get employment, presentation of fake certificate to earn promotion, failure to present original certificate, falsified date of birth and many others.
The HoS added that some of the people deregistered from Kogi state payroll were enlisted into the state civil service while in school and diaspora workers who abandoned their duty posts.
”Imagine some people claiming to be Kogi state civil servants are living outside the state, they absent themselves from duty without permission and making constant bank withdrawn in Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos’,” she narrated.
She disclosed that over 900 people with cases of omissions were added back to the payroll in 2018, noting that some of those blackmailing government of owing 38months arrears have no evidence of salary payment since 2014 based on bank statement verification.
Ogunmola revealed that the governor pardoned those who altered their date of birth certificates.
NGIJ in continuation of her fact finding mission will meet NLC, NUT,pensioners and other interest groups to fact check information gathered from some civil servants and government functionaries in the state.