From KABIR WURMA, Birnin Kebbi
KEBBI State office of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees [NULGE] at the weekend denied reports captioned, “Kebbi uncovers 9000 fake local government workers which was widely reported by some national dailies.
Addressing a news conference in his office in Birnin Kebbi, chairman of the union in the state, Comrade Mohammed Bello Barade, said his office had got reactions over the reports from many readers which had caused unrest among members of the union.
He revealed that a member of staff of the News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] whom he granted an interview to the current verification going on in the local government councils of the state quoted him out of context.
He added that what the reporter couldn’t understand was that most of the staff of the local government were not able to turn up for one reason or the other and that the committee on the verification would at the end of the exercise deal with the absentees.
“But to my surprised the following day, I was called by a superior officer in the office of head of service that a report was in the Daily Trust, credited to me that there are about 9,000 fake local government workers in the state,” said Barade.
“So I went straight to head of service’s office and told the office that the media had misquoted me, because what I told the reporter was different from what he reported. Then I was directed to grant another interview with capable journalist to say the true position of things,” Barade said.
According to him, the real issue was the verification committee set up by the state government had completed its assignment and had submitted its report to the government and based on the findings of the committee, the local governments were divided in to three categories.
He added that the first category consisted of all verified genuine workers with various schedules of responsibilities and those in second category consisted of verified genuine workers with no specific schedule of responsibilities but do go to their places of work while those in the third category are workers who did not appear before the committee for verification.
The NULGE chairman, however, indicated that in the committee report that government was advised to consider serious cases of omission because of the imperfection of human nature and also consider those staff in the third category with genuine complaints and reasons and be considered subject to re verification from the office of the Auditor General for Local Governments.
He added that for the workers fell under the second category, are generally secondary school leavers with no any basic professional qualification such officers be encouraged and granted with opportunities of obtaining professional qualification while those obtained should be granted automatic absorption into the services and also those who obtained professional teaching qualification be absorbed and posted to the classroom as teachers.
He called on the media to inform the general public that as neither the committee nor the government or NULGE address the unverified workers as fake or ghost workers
He implored the working journalists in the state to listen to newsmakers carefully, understand his comments before going to press.
From KABIR WURMA, Birnin Kebbi