Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Anxiety as Workers Await FG’s Verdict on Falsified Credentials

The fate of hundreds of federal civil servants are currently hanging in the balance following revelations that they may have falsified their actual age and other personal information to get into the service.
THISDAY gathered that the affected workers, some of whom had already risen through the ranks to top positions in the service, have had their salaries suspended and their matters forwarded to the federal government for adequate response.
It was further gathered from top officials of Techno-vision Communications and Soft Alliance -two of the companies currently coordinating the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in government agencies – that the affected workers could not offer tangible explanations for the massive discrepancies in their personnel record.
That led to the suspension of their salaries for the past six months while they have been promptly referred to the federal government to know the next step to take on their issue.
There are however, feelers that the age discrepancies, and issues bordering on qualifications which had helped the workers to remain in service could eventually lead to their sack from the service as well as prosecution if approved.
Audit officials said in some instances, it was difficult to match available records with reality as it would mean from calculations that some workers joined the civil service at a ridiculous age of four, and sometimes as early as sixteen.
Drawing strength from a statement from the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy,  Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that all civil workers involved in the N118 billion ghost workers scam would be prosecuted, analysts believe those whose accounts have been suspended due to falsification of credentials may not get off the hook.
It came amid campaign by civil societies and labour unions seeking punitive measures for the so-called ghost workers to serve as deterrent.
Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNILAG chapter, Mr. Karo Ogbinaka, jocularly argued that it takes a ghost employer to employ a ghost worker; a veiled reference to the fact that there is a complicity in the scam.
He said all the people sacked as the alleged ghost workers should be punished stressing that except such culprits are apprehended and sent to prison to serve as deterrent, the war against corruption would not be successful.

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