Bello vows to prosecute fraudulent civil servants
He said this while receiving the report of the Staff Screening Review Appeal Committee set up to investigate complaints of workers that were not cleared during the staff audit carried out by the government last year.
He said the measure was to serve as a deterrent to others as they have laid foundation for a new civil service in the state.Bello noted that the civil service reform was embarked upon to clean up the rots in the state civil service and ensure a disciplined and efficient workforce capable of driving the administration’s ‘new direction agenda.’
He promised to look into the findings and recommendations of the Appeal Committee with a view to implementing them, adding that: “We shall tamper justice with mercy but those that committed fraud will not be spared.
The governor however, sympathized with workers over the pains they went through in the 14 months the screening exercise lasted, especially those that lost their lives and assured that all cleared workers would get their due wages.
Responding, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Onu Edoka said the governor brought change into the Kogi State civil service.His words: “You have brought attitudinal change into the civil service. For the sake of this attitudinal change why don’t we look inwards and look for a way to pardon and forgive the thousands of people that would lose their job?
He commended Bello for paying the check-off dues for the workers into the labour account.Earlier, Chairman of the Appeal Committee, John Ayuba of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), told the governor that the committee discovered 44 different cases of infractions and misconduct committed by civil servants in the course of its assignment.
He enumerated some of the cases to include certificate forgeries and alteration of credentials, alteration of dates of birth, under-aged employments, staff collecting double salaries, Diaspora staff, staff employed while still in school, absence from work for studies without approval and impersonation.
Other infractions he said include staff without requisite qualifications for employments, staff involvement in non-permissible jobs, improper advancement and promotion of staff, replacement of deceased staff with their family members and staff over due for retirement but still on the payroll, amongst others.
The committee recommended that appropriate sanctions should be taken against the affected workers in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules. Ayuba however, advised the state government to stop telling the people where the previous administration had failed, adding that having stayed in office for almost two years, there should be a paradigm shift from harping on the failures of the past government and concentrate on what matters at the moment.