By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The chairman, Akwa Ibom State Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan has said that the state government has been employing personnel into the state civil service but relies more on data bank of applicants who applied during 2018 employment notice.
Ekereobong who spoke with our Correspondent on Tuesday, said that the bulk of those employed are health workers such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists ant medical laboratory scientists etc.
“You are aware that Governor Udom Emmanuel has built many hospitals, and refurbished many so we cannot refurbish, put the state of-art-equipment in those hospitals and leave them like that. Hospital without workers is no hospital, so there has been a lot of recruitment of health workers, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical lab scientist etc.”, she said.
Ekereobong’s reaction followed allegations that the state government has not done employment into the state civil service since 2016, a development said to have contributed to current figure by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) ranking Akwa Ibom styate second to Abia State in unemployment rates.
Her position also vindicated her predecessor in office, Elder Sunday Akpadiaha who has been alleged of secretly recruiting personnel into the state civil service during his tenure in office without due approvals from the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
Elder Akpadiaha who had earlier denied the allegation, describing it as false, said that even though he was the chairman, civil service commission, he had no power on his own to recruit but recruitments are done by the commission according to demands from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) approved by the state executive council.
“Someone drew my attention to a publication in Global Concord Newspaper, a locally-based tabloid where I read that I secretly recruited staff into the state civil service. The story is unfounded and untrue.
“Civil Service Commission established by an Act, has its powers and functions as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Its key responsibilities include appointment, promotion and discipline of civil servants. In doing these, there are processes to follow.
“For instance, the Commission does not recruit on its own, but for MDAs who must first recommend and write through appropriate channels stating why the Commission should recruit for them. But since 2016, there has been no general recruitment in the state and you cannot recruit when there is no job for them to do”, Elder Akpadiaha explained.
Akpadiaha who resigned from office as chairman of the state civil service commission also debunked rumours that he resigned from office in a protest over alleged remarks said to have been made by Governor Emmanuel during one of the state executive council meetings against his tenure as chairman of the commission.
His resignation from office which was seen by the public as impromptu, linked to reasons why the state government cancelled the 2019 promotion interview conducted by the commission early this year and ordered it rescheduled and concluded before October.
The action placed suspicions on the minds of civil servants in the state that Governor Emmanuel may have alleged integrity problem during the 2019 promotion exercise where about 2,600 civil servants from grade levels 07 and above were screened.
But the commissioner for information and strategy, Mr. Ini Emembong said the cancellation of the earlier exercise does not in any way show that government was dissatisfied with the conduct of the exercise but to give opportunities to those who missed out and who have been declared as ghost workers to be interviewed within the same space with colleagues.