Anxiety hits Ondo civil servants over Salary racketeering

…..900 Workers suspected, AG office staff, Perm Secs panic

There are currently panic and anxiety among civil servants as efforts of the Ondo State Government at fishing out workers obtaining more than their expected salaries or double salaries is yielding result, even as investigation revealed that some people have been caught through the verification exercise.

Authoritative sources disclosed exclusively that thus far, about 9000 civil servants in the state were affected, even as some permanent secretaries and top officers of government are now running around to ensure they are not caught in the unholy deal.

SUNSHINETRUTH understands the Ondo state government has been finding difficult to meet payment of workers salaries and pensions as a result of economic downturn and alleged mismanagement of payroll of government.

State Workers are being owed about four months salary arrears; as this is one of the reasons Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu ordered the verification also aimed at fishing out ghost workers.

It was also gathered that some staff of the Accountant General’s office and few permanent secretaries are allegedly involved in the purported payment and collection of double salaries and over payment of salaries.

Infact, a particular perm sec has been allegedly caught of collecting double salary for months.

It will be recalled that the state government set up the Committee on Verification, Scrutinization and Clean up of the State Payroll (Salary and Pension) when it discovered that, pension was shooting up, while salary was not going down, which portends that some people are receiving double salaries.

According to a member of the committee who craved anonymity, the exercise has been going on smoothly as expected, noting that affected civil servants are showing up gradually.

He said, “Those collecting double salaries are showing up and we want to encourage the remaining ones to come out.”

The premises of the State Cultural Centre, Adegbemile, Akure, in the last few days has witnessed influx of hundreds of civil servants who made themselves available to ensure they are screened appropriately.

As at yesterday, the place was still filled to capacity as most of them struggled to get the attention of the officials in charge.

While some were in the hall waiting patiently for their turn, others were outside the hall in groups discussing the whole process.

It was learnt from a group of four women who failed to disclose their identity that the process has been stressful for them due to some of the demands of the officials.

According to them, they were asked to get the bank details of their banks (microfinance bank) which is no longer on the system.

“They said we should come with our bank statements between 2017 and 2019. But it is unfortunate that we can’t get it because it is no longer on the system of the bank,” they chorused.

Our correspondent who witnessed a section of the exercise learnt from one of the officials while addressing the affected set of women that they should get a detailed report of conviction, which must be signed and stamped by the manager of the bank, claiming that record between the period is no longer in the bank’s system.

According to findings, those affected are those who have been in the system for sometime, while few of them who were recently employed by government were also included in the list.

A staff of the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), who does not want her name in print had told The Hope that she had met all criteria for her to be screened, noting that she was employed not quite long.

A female health worker who described the process as fair said that it was discovered that her account number was not adequately written, hence the reason her name was on the list.

Also, a staff of the Ondo State Cultural Centre who spoke on the condition of anonymity said about 9000 civil servants were affected, stating that every civil servant in the state has to check the list to ensure that their names are not included on the list.

He said, “Nobody received any text message. It is not as if messages were sent to people, but all civil servants had to check the list to ensure that they are free.

“My name was not on the list, but my wife’s name appeared and she has been screened as she met all criteria.”

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