Staff Audit: Oyo State uncovers Ghost workers

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Implementation Committee of the Oyo State 2019/2020 Civil/Public Servants Audit and Payroll Re-engineering/Validation Exercise has recommended the removal of 41 staff classified as “No Show” (ghost workers) by the consultants.

The consultants had indicted and recommended 602 officers for removal from the payroll but the Implementation Committee affirmed 41 ghost workers; cleared 40 others of any infraction; uncovered 10 deaths; 170 systematic retirements.

It also affirmed the option of voluntary retirement by 341 others with irregular records of service.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, said the Implementation Committee had examined the report submitted by the consultants and interacted with the affected officers before finalising the implementation model.

Messrs Sally Tilbot Consulting had, in 2019, been engaged by the Oyo State Government to undertake employees and pensioners’ verification/validation and payroll re-engineering, tagged: 2019/2020 Staff Audit.

Following series of reconciliations, the consultants indicted 602 workers, advising that they be removed from the payrolls, in a report submitted to the government on April 30, 2021, after which an Implementation Committee was put in place to fashion out the final implementation model.

The 13-member Implementation Committee, headed by the Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Commission, Mr D.O. Olatunde, affirmed that 41 officers established to be “No Show” should be removed from government payrolls immediately.

Administrative investigation
It recommended that an administrative investigation be undertaken by the government to determine where the salaries of the “No Show” officers had been going.

Out of 341 who indicated their decision of voluntary retirement to the Implementation Committee, 290 officers had turned in their voluntary retirement letters, while the 24 officers who failed to take advantage of the two-month window have now been retired by the concerned agencies of government.

The Implementation Committee, which put together its report in May 2021, however recommended that the government should affirm the resolve of the 341 officers who opted to retire voluntarily, following the discovery of irregular records of service in their files. It stated that the affected officers are to be “helped to port into the pension payroll not later than two months after their respective notices of retirement.”

The administration of Governor Seyi Makinde had, in a painstaking effort, set up a number of reconciliation meetings to review the report of Sally Tilbot Consultants, which undertook a forensic analysis of civil/public servants between 2019 and 2020 and afterwards set up a the 13-member Implementation Committee, headed by Olatunde to fine-tune the final processes of its implementation.

The Committee, in its report submitted to the government, had, however, recommended that 170 officers, who were found to have “retired systematically” (retirement according to age or years of service) be removed from the list of 602 earlier recommended for sanction by Tilbot Consultants, while the list of affected officers from Tertiary Institutions should be forwarded to their respective Governing Councils for necessary action.

The report says: “Consequently, the Committee agreed that out of the 602 officers involved in the report: Forty (40) officers should be absolved and allowed to remain on government payrolls; one hundred and seventy (170) officers who had retired systematically should be allowed on pension payrolls; and ten (10) deceased officers should be paid their due entitlements.”

Besides the Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Commission, who chaired the Committee, other members include the Special Adviser, Economic Matters to the Governor, Prof. Musibau Babatunde; Special Adviser, Labour Matters, Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo; Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Mr Akin Funmilayo and Permanent Secretary, Service Matters, Office of the Head of Service, F.N. Oladeinde.

Others are, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs A.A Fasina; Acting Solicitor-General of the State, Mrs Folabimpe Segun-Olakojo; Executive Secretary, State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Mr O.J. Adeniyi; Representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade (Mrs) K.F Aiyedun; Representative of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Kola Badmus; Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State Chapter, Comrade Olusegun Abatan; Director, Service Matters, Office of the Head of Service, Mr Goke Adenrele and the Deputy Director (EMR&P), Office of the Head of Service, Idowu Mashopa.

 

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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