GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has approved the dismissal of no fewer than 662 workers from the state public service for allegedly forging their West Africa Secondary School Certificates, WASC.
Also, the government has said it had to remove 2,021 fictitious names of workers and pensioners from its payroll.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade, following the decision at the Executive Council meeting held on Monday at the governor’s office.
Eniade, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, explained that about 684 workers were not found at their duty posts during the last Physical Verification Exercise, PVE, carried out in the state recently.
Reacting to government decisions, the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Waheed Olojede, said in as much as the union would not aid nor abet forgery of certificates, the government ought to have gone to WAEC to verify the authenticity of its claims.
”After the meeting of the Joint Negotiating Council that we had this afternoon, our decision is that Some of the affected workers came to us and showed the letter. We will write to the government that it should give room for fair hearing because all the workers might not be culpable.
“Those workers who were affected should go to WAEC to authenticate their certificates.
”Once they have done that, the government should allow the innocent ones to have fair hearing and where their claims are genuine, they should be let off the hook”, he said.
Speaking further, the Head of Service, said the state government is restructuring the state public service by ascertaining the quality and quantity of the workforce, stressing 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.
While giving a breakdown of the number of affected workers, he stressed that the state government discovered that 662 personnel on its payroll were in possession of forged WASC certificates discovered during the certificate verification handled by Messrs. Captain Consulting consultant, 305 of the personnel were from the local government councils, 152 from ministries, 149 from Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), 28 from parastatals and two from the State Universal Basic Education Board.
He said that government did not mean to witch-hunt anybody, adding that it is a standard periodic self-check which is standard practice throughout the world where quality service delivery is expected.
“Also, we have started issuing queries to the personnel that prepared the payrolls where fictitious names were discovered. We want them to tell us where they generated the names and explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them,” the HOS added.