Ondo yet to sack employees indicted for collecting double salaries

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Two months after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu ordered the dismissal of some Ondo State government employees indicted for receiving double salaries, the Head of Service is yet to carry out the directive.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the indicted staff, whose names were not made public, had continued with their duties at their respective offices.

Their activities came to light after a report by a panel on the verification and the cleaning up of the payroll of civil servants in the state was submitted to the governor.

The report indicated a loss of about N500 million to ghost workers since Mr Akeredolu came into office.

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The governor set up the committee at the assumption of his second term in office following the suspicion that the state’s payroll including salaries and pensions had been compromised.

The committee, led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Victor Olajorin, submitted its report in July this year.

Other members of the committee were Tope Popoola, Hadj Badmos, Ola Obaado, Bola Taiwo, Kayode Edema, and Lawrence Akintunde.

According to Mr Olajorin, the committee found out that there were workers who earned double salaries, and some pensioners were still earning their regular salaries along with their pensions.

Displeased by the findings, Mr Akeredolu ordered the Head of Service to dismiss the officers who were involved.

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He decried the several infractions and over-bloated workforce occasioned by the presence of ghost workers.

Investigations, however, revealed that after the order to sack the workers, no one has lost his job from the state civil service on account of the crime.

The state government has also kept the identities of the culprits secret.

Sources close to the state’s civil service indicated that there is no apprehension whatsoever within the service relating to the act for which a sack order had been given.

“Matters like this are very delicate when it comes to the civil service,” a source, who would not want to be named, said.

“It appears that the matter will be allowed to linger until the tenure of the governor expires and nothing will be done about it. This is government.”

Necessary procedures

However, the Commissioner of Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said the Head of Service had begun the process of sacking the affected workers.

She noted that ‘necessary procedures’ would need to be followed before the dismissals would be implemented.

“They have not been dismissed,” she said.

According to her, it requires certain procedures to be followed and the process has commenced for those found culpable.

“The outcome of the process already put in place will determine if prosecution will be pursued,” she added.

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