Staff verification: Bello grants 2000 erring workers amnesty

THE Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has pardoned over 2000 Kogi civil servants who erred during the staff screening exercise conducted by the state government for workers at the state and local government levels.

Governor Bello offered pardon and amnesty on 11 out of 44 various offences committed by some of the workers in the state .

Addressing stakeholders on Sunday evening at Government House Lokoja, the state governor, said “truly the screening exercise passed through a turbulent journey, but state government was able to end the exercise and has achieved a wonderful and resounding result”

He said the decision of the government to pardon some workers who have erred and whose punishment ought to have been dismissal was to reassure the people of the state that the screening was not aimed at downsizing the work force or witch hunt anybody.

Governor Bello disclosed that those who benefited from the pardon were 350 staff of the state government who absented themselves from work for part time studies and NYSC programme without any approval, adding that the certificates obtained by the affected workers will not be recognised by the government.

He noted that 771 civil servants also erred in the area of disparity in date of birth between the declaration of age, primary school certificate and West African School Certificate, stressing that they have been pardon , but the earlier age used by the workers at the point of entry into civil service will be recognised.

According to him, “102 staff is affected by the use of non accredited certificates. This certificates are only required for proficiency and not for carrier provision which is again against the service rules. They will be graded accordingly.

“16 teachers are culpable for employment or secondment  to Ministries, Departments and  Agencies where their experience are not been utilised. This category we offered them pardon but they should be transfer back to classroom for efficiency”

Also pardoned according to Bello were 43 workers found wanting in improper carrier advancement and promotions as well as 103 staff who lacked the requisite academic qualifications upon which staff promotion were premised.

The governor disclosed that 325 workers of the state indulged in multiple statutory declaration of age , saying this offence is punishable by dismissal, but government had pardoned them as their age at the point of entry into the service would be used for them.

He added that 336 staff that had attained the mandatory age of 60 years still remained in service, stressing that this category supposed to be dismissed from service but they were pardoned.

The governor however said the salaries they earned during the extra illegal years in service would be deducted from their gratuity.

Governor Bello however directed the Commissioner for finance, the Accountant General, the Acting Head of Service and the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs to put the financial implications of those granted amnesty together and pay them before the end of this month.

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