In a bid to get rid of ghost workers and ensure an effective and productive workforce in the local government administration in the state, the Enugu State Government has begun the physical verification of local government workers in the state.
Pix: This verification exercise
Speaking to Newsmen after the inspection, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, who monitored the verification exercise to ascertain the level of workers’ compliance he how regular the workers in the local government councils have been, said the process was fair to all and satifactory in line with established best practices.
Prof. Onyia disclosed that the physical verification exercise is another phase of the verification process which has been ongoing since last year, notng that there is every need for the government to know the status and identity of the actual staff in every local government and those who illegitimately made their way into the respective local government payrolls.
According to him, his unannounced visitation was also to know how punctual and dedicated the workers have been in the discharge of their official duties, stressing that the state cannot continue to utilize taxpayers money to service the wage bills of ghost workers and those that have abandoned their work places and failed to discharge their responsibilities for the growth of the state.
SSG, Prof Onyia
,T6he verification team that is here will go through a verification process that includes; the workers’ appointment letter, their schedules, and we are going to ensure that their biometrics that were captured and presented to us reflect in what we have seen here. This is because we also know that people are going on filling out information online, but they are not the actual people present here. So, we didn’t tell anybody we were coming today and none of the local government areas knows which local government we would show up. So, we chose Enugu North today and as you can see, we did not have a significant numbers to justify what was on our payroll,” Onyia said.
The SSG, while lamenting that the local government system has become a dumping ground for people who think they can corruptly influence the system because they know highly placed people, assured that the system will be overhauled by this present administration so that productivity will be enhanced to align with Governor Peter Mbah’s plan of moving the state’s GDP from $4.4 billion to $30 billion.
He stated that the exercise would be conducted in the 17 local government areas in the state, while the state team would continue to monitor all the exercises and take appropriate measures against those that failed to be captured in the exercise.
Meanwhile, some members of staff have applauded the physical verification exercise, urging the authority to ensure that all those culpable in compromising the system are sanctioned according to the laid down rules.
One of staff participating in the physical verification exercise who simply identified her herself as Mrs. Chime, said the nominal roles and payment vouchers have thousands of workers with very few of them coming to work.
“You wonder if they are still existing. Some of them are living in Lagos, Abuja, Rivers and yet they are receiving the same pay as ourselves who have been coming to work. We are glad that the right reward and sanction await us,” she said.
Mr. Okoh Ignatius, who came to apply for local government identification letter, lamented that most of the offices were usually deserted by workers, leaving members of the public in need of their services stranded. He stressed that the government was taking the right step to fix the system.