Delta State deletes 1, 021 workers from payroll over sundry offences
• Okowa charges electoral commission on enabling laws
The Delta State Civil Service has deleted 1, 021 workers from the government’s payroll following a directive by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to weed them out.
This was, however, described in some quarters as alleged attempts to retrench workers in the state.
But Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Mike Okeme, confirmed that the state government’s decision to delete 1, 021 workers’ names from its payroll was informed by their alleged negligence to duty and failure to go to work without official permission.
Noting that the state government could not continue to pay ghost workers, including the nonchalant ones, Okeme disclosed that the decision to delete names of workers from the payroll was not a plot to retrench workers even on the face of over bloated state workforce.
The Guardian learnt that the state currently has over 60, 000 workers in its payroll, a situation Okeme described as sordid and unacceptable considering the economic recession.
Expectedly, the state owned Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic, College of Education, Agbor are among institutions having over bloated workforce, and had to delete some workers’ names from the staff lists.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, who corroborated Okowa’s move to weed out ghost workers, said names of the workers deleted from payroll was followed by incontrovertible evidence of gross negligence of duties, adding that it was not true that the state government had reached a decision to retrench workers.
Sources said heads of departments in various ministries were last week given matching orders to compile names of workers who allegedly have been defaulting in their duties to the governor directly, an order sending fear of the unknown in all government offices.
Okowa has also directed that the names of 145 staff of the State Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) be deleted from the payroll.
Meanwhile, Okowa has charged members of electoral commission to acquaint themselves with enabling laws to enable them effectively deliver their mandate to the electorate.
He made the call yesterday in Asaba during the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Michael Ogbodu as Chairman of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC).
Also sworn-in as members of the commission were Messrs Frederick Ulakpa, Friday Seimode, James Umokoro, Greg Edeme, Light Diden and Yvonne Wagbatsoma.
He said Chairmen and members should look into the laws establishing the commission, get acquainted with them so that they could carry out other duties as specified by the laws.