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Delta State uncovers 291 over-aged, 731 ghost workers

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Okowa urges probe, says govt may recover N1.9b from suspects
Palpable tension and fear have gripped Delta State civil servants as the verification screening committee has uncovered age falsification and other relevant documents by many of the workers invited for the exercise.

Chairman of the committee, Dame Patience Nkem Okwuofu, who disclosed this yesterday, said out of 1,113 persons invited by the panel, 376 were cleared, while 291 were discovered to be overdue for retirement.

She also said that 731 names were found to be fictitious in the list of workers in the state, adding that the supposedly retired officers had been receiving salaries after they had reached the bar of their retirement.

But Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, receiving the report, ordered the Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Reginald Bayoko, to investigate and ensure that the suspects are brought to book.

He said the state government would recover N1.9 billion from public servants who had fraudulently falsified their records of service and others.

Okowa also bemoaned the alleged connivance of members of staff of the Directorate of Establishment and Pensions in the falsification of records, adding: “A lot of questions need answers from the agency because these anomalies should not have arisen if they had done their work creditably.”

He, therefore, directed the HoS to liaise with the Ministry of Health to set up a medical board to handle the case of civil servants who cannot carry out their functions effectively due to ill-health, stressing that the verification was not to witch-hunt but to ensure that salaries are justifiably earned and only those who worked are paid.



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