Kogi State Chairman, Staff Verification and Screening Committee, Alhaji Yakubu Okala, said workers census and validation exercise will continue until the state civil service is free of ghost workers and fraudsters.
Okala, who disclosed this to journalists yesterday in Lokoja, added that the exercise is continuous and will be done in phases. He stressed that the present phase will end on September 30.
He disclosed that at the beginning of the screening exercise in February, the entire workforce at the state and local government level was 88,000, comprising 25,000 for the state and 63,000 for the 21 local councils.
Okala hinted that after the validation exercise, the figure came down to 63,000 for both levels.
“As at the time that the committee submitted its report on July 26, the total number validated was 18,211 which is still being subjected to scrutiny.’’
According to him, the figure is still being subjected to scrutiny “because those on problem lists are coming with their complaints and by the time we resolve them, the number will increase. The committee has the mandate to further scrutinise even the cleared list.”
The chairman said the next phase would commence at the end of September and urged all genuine workers with untainted employment papers not to entertain any fear.
The fate of workers whose salary accounts were domiciled with micro finance banks and have been denied their wages for about eight months still hang in the balance, as the chairman said “we want to discourage as much as possible the use of micro-finance banks.
“Micro finance banks on its own is not a problem, but the previous administration used that avenue to commit a lot of fraud against the staff. They kept posting money into fictitious micro finance bank accounts and when the accounts fail, they collect the money and share.
“Five staff of the state pension board diverting pensioners’ money through micro finance banks have so far, refunded N20 million. Workers with such accounts have been asked to open accounts with commercial banks and their list will be forwarded to the screening committee,” he said.
He said workers whose names were on problem lists, but have now been screened and cleared would be paid their arrears alongside three months salary to be paid soon to workers.
“The salary we are going to pay now is three months and as for the newly cleared people, their arrears will be computed as supplementary and they will be paid accordingly.
“The accountant-general has authorised Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prepare supplementary lists for those people. The screening exercise is a continuous one. We will continue until the state is rid completely of fraud,” he said.

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