By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Oyo State Government Tuesday announced the immediate dismissal of 662 workers from its civil and public service over forged West Africa Secondary School Certificates (WASSCE).
The state Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Soji Eniade who said this during a press briefing on the outcome of the state’s Executive Council meeting held on Monday, also disclosed that about 2,021 fictitious names of workers and pensioners were expunged from the state’s payroll.
Mr Eniade pointed out that about 684 workers were not found at their duty posts during the last Physical verification Exercise (PVE) carried out in the state.
According to the Head of Service, “the government is restructuring the state civil and public service by ascertaining the quality and quantity of the workforce”, adding that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to determine the accurate size of the workforce and pensioners exposed that there were 1,432 fictitious state pensioners’ names, 84 fictitious local government pensioners and 505 fictitious workers in the state civil and public service, amounting to 2021.
“We are using the exercise to determine the quality and the quantity, right size, of the workforce for efficiency, prompt salary payment, and service delivery to restore the lost glory of the public and civil service. Initially, we had a total of 670 and 8 out of them have represented their certificates. We will give them the opportunity of re-verification. We believe in the saying that he who comes to equity, must come with clean hands,”he said.
The HOS maintained that Oyo state government discovered that 662 personnel on its payroll were in possession of forged WASSCE certificates discovered during the certificate verification handled by Messrs. Captain Consulting consultant with 305 of the personnel from the local government, 152 from ministries, 149 from Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), 28 from parastatals and two from the State Universal Basic Education Board.
“The government engaged the services of a consultant and this is the same consultant used by the previous administration. We do not want any interference and that is why we have engaged a third party to weed out the bad ones amongst us all. In 2013, workers with fake certificates were dismissed and it is a continuous process which the government will see to the end”.
He stated that of the 670 workers discovered to have submitted forged certificates, 8 of them resubmitted their WASSCE certificates for re-verification while the remaining 662 had been summarily dismissed and the onus is now on them to prove that the WASSCE certificates in their possession are original.
Speaking further, Mr Eniade said “the action of the government is not meant to witch-hunt anybody, but that what the government is doing is a standard periodic self-check which is standard practice throughout the world where quality service delivery is expected”.
The HoS who was flanked at the briefing by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju,said “I am an advocate of some of the Private Sector practices to be injected into the public and civil service in the state. The level of decadence in the system is embarrassing and this cannot continue. What the government is doing is called self-check. There is financial check, institutional check, quality check et al. Any organization or even individual that wants to progress must engage in self-check as standard practice”.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.