Kogi workers screaming over screening reports
the “ghost workers and unintended beneficiaries”.
But the report’s presentation which was celebrated by the government and televised live, was again followed by screams from workers and labour unions in the state, who alleged that many genuine workers were being screened out as “ghost workers/ unintended beneficiaries” on trivial grounds.
Following that, a 23-member Screening Review and Complaints Committee headed by Alhaji Yakubu Okala was once again set up on August 8, 2016 to review the exercise within three weeks. But it could not submit it until late December 2016, causing additional outcry, from civil servants who could not assess their salaries for over 10 months.
After a long wait, the committee on Monday, January 16, 2017, released its report to the various MDAs and local government areas across the state, indicating that a total of 43,522 workers were on the “cleared list” while 32,753 others were those on the “uncleared list”. The report also indicated that a total of 8,879 was the figures of those categorized as ghost workers on the payroll of government.
But the outcome of the said report which saw larger percentage of the state’s workforce categorized either under the “uncleared workers” or “ghost workers”, has been generating furore.
In Lokoja, council staff protested over their exclusion from the list of cleared workers, expressing shock at finding their names on the “uncleared list” after being cleared earlier. One of the staff, Usman Nuhu, said he had worked for over 20 years in the council.
Many staff in other state ministries visited by our correspondent had similar complaints with some saying that their names were omitted from both lists. They called on Governor Bello to take a second look into the report, to ensure that genuine workers were not screened out.
On its part, the Kogi State Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, an umbrella body of workers in the state, condemned the screening committee report, describing the outcome as “premeditated attempt to retrench workers”.
The Kogi State House of Assembly, in a resolution passed at plenary, condemned the outcome of the screening, saying it has subjected many workers to untold suffering, and in some cases death.
Governor Bello has inaugurated a 32-man Staff Screening Complaint and Appeal Committee to look into the cases of workers whose names appeared on uncleared list and those whose names were omitted. Inaugurating the committee, he charged the committee to do a thorough job and submit a comprehensive report to him within six weeks.
Chairman of the Committee and Director of Sudies , Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mr John Yila Ayuba, assured that the committee will leave no stone unturned in its efforts.
Apostle Johnson Suleman