No fewer than 532 ghost workers have been uncovered masquerading civil servants across the state’s civil service after verification exercises ordered by the state’s Governor, Simon Lalong.
As said, the 532 staff with questionable records have so far been removed from the State payroll after an investigation by the verification committee using the BVN system.
Reacting to the development, the governor said that his administration would stop at nothing in ridding the civil service of staff who have questionable records or are found to have tampered with their records.
Speaking on Tuesday during a policy retreat for Permanent Secretaries held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS Kuru, Lalong assured that the exercise would continue as those found culpable would face disciplinary proceedings.
He said “I am aware of the huge manpower gaps that exist in the Plateau State civil service because of years of unemployment. With the setting up of the Nde John Gobak Committee on the Verification and Audit of Staff strength, we will address these issues once the committee completes its assignment and submits its report.
“Already, about 532 names have been removed from Government payroll after an investigation using the BVN system revealed inconsistencies in their records. Some had falsified their ages or tampered with their records. Others could not appear to answer queries on such records”
Lalong told the permanent secretaries that the state was facing continuous decline in revenues from FAAC which makes it very necessary to generate more revenue internally to meet the yearnings of the people.
This, he said, necessitated priority spending on areas that would yield revenues in all MDAs as well as the blocking of leakages in the system.
He also reminded the permanent secretaries that government business in Plateau State was now driven by ICT and as such, they must not only be proficient but also mentor all civil servants in utilizing ICT for carrying out their day-to-day schedules.
The state’s Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Chong Hyat, said that the policy retreat became necessary because of the appointment of 14 new permanent secretaries and the fact that the last exercise was held in 2015.
He said that as accounting officers of various MDAs, the permanent secretaries have been equipped with relevant knowledge to enforce discipline and good conduct in line with extant rules and regulations of the civil service.
Lead consultant, Mr. Ezekiel Gomos, and the Head of Component, Policy and Strategy GIZ/SEDIN, Akin Omoware, said the retreat provided a very strategic opportunity for government to build the capacity of the top echelon of its workforce who would drive the reforms in the state and lead in programme implementation and project execution.
They advocated for more of such training to build workers’ capacity and enable the government deliver on its mandate to the people.