Staff Audit Report: Kogi Lawmaker Decries Constitution of Complaints, Appeal Committee

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By Olatunde Odimayo.

A Member of Kogi House of Assembly, Mr Friday Sani has decried the inauguration of a 32-member Staff Screening Complaints/Appeal Committee by the State Government to entertain complaints arising from the recent staff audit.

Sani, representing Igalamela-Odolu state constituency at the assembly disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Lokoja on the issue of over 32,000 workers sacked by the Staff Screening and Verification Committee in its report.

He regretted that the committee report submitted last week and roundly condemned by members of the assembly was a faulty document to work with adding that the new committee was destined to fail from inception.

“I do not believe that the document which has been declared satanic and condemned by the entire representatives of the people can be a good material for any other committee to work on. When a committee does not have a foundation to operate how can it function.” he queried.

On the January 20, editorial of the Leadership Newspapers condemning the stance of the house on the staff audit/screening report, Sani said any journalist or newspaper that decided to serve as an agent or purveyor of falsehood could continue.

He added that at the end of the day the house and the people would be vindicated saying, “It’s no longer news that our people have not been paid and are being owed salaries or that most of them have been declared ghost workers.”

Sani regretted that a lot of the state civil servants met their untimely death through accidents and lack of money to buy drugs while many others were disabled and now live with permanent disabilities as a result of the staff screening exercise.

“In the Eastern Senatorial District for example, there was an accident that claimed the lives of 21 civil servants who came to Lokoja for the screening exercise in one day. They were declared ghost workers while alive and in death, they remain ghosts.

“We may be called names but it is a normal for one to be so branded when fighting for the rights of the people. The problem is that we are in a conservative state where almost everybody is a praise singer. A lot of them are not telling the governor the truth.

Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello while inaugurating the new committee on Monday in Lokoja declared: “Having seen that there are pockets of anomalies in the last report and to ensure that no genuine worker loses his or her job, we are subjecting that report to further scrutiny by constituting a Complaint/Appeal Committee.

“We are not unaware of and not insensitive to the plight of workers affected by the screening. We regret the inconveniences caused by the screening which has been on for quite some time now. I wish to assure you that no genuine worker will be short-changed in the final analysis”, he assured.

The committee which has Mr John Ayuba, Director of Studies at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) as chairman and Mr Ephraim Amurawaiye of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) as Secretary has six weeks to submit its report.

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