- Oyo Dishes Out Sack Letters to 662 Workers
Ibadan – As the Governor Abiola Ajimobi led administration in Oyo State begins distribution of sack letters to some 662 workers for alleged forgery of results of their West African School Certificates, palpable fear has enveloped the entire public and civil service in the state with the affected workers describing the letters as bad Christmas gifts.
The most affected are workers from the Polytechnic, Ibadan, and its satellite campus at Saki, The Polytechnic, Eruwa, and other tertiary institutions under the state government. Also some civil servants in the Ministries of Education; Information and Culture; Agriculture and Natural Resources; Lands, Science and Technology, Finance, Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Health and Water Resources are not at peace knowing that the distribution of the letters is still on-going and the declaration by the government that names of other 2,021 workers have been expunged from payroll.
Already, the state government has sent dismissal letters to 24 workers of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. The first batch of the letters which are 18 in number were received by the workers in the institution last week Thursday while another six letters have been sent but are yet to be handed over to the affected workers.
Due to the gradual release of the letters, guilty workers in the institution have been running helter-skelter to some politicians to prevail on the governor to give them soft landing that would enable them to collect gratuities and pensions and also escape possible prosecution.
The affected workers are in two categories. The first category are the ones who have admitted guilt while there are others who claim that their certificates are genuine.
Out of the 662 workers, only forty of them who feel they have genuine certificates have so far gone to the management of the West African Examination Council for the verification of their certificates.
Though, some of them wanted to collect the reports by hand for onward submission to the Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade, the examination body reportedly declined to send the reports through them saying such classified reports should be sent straight to the state government.
One of the affected workers said he wondered why the government failed to do painstaking investigations before declaring that their O level certificates were forged.
According to him, “some of us presented O level results when we were employed. But, we decided to further our education and we discovered that there were some subjects required which we did not do at our first sitting. We had to re-write the papers so that we can be considered for admission. During the screening exercise, some of us added these new results to the former ones we had presented at the point of entry. May be that’s why they declared our results forged.”
“I want to tell you, this is not the kind of gift that one should expect in this Christmas period. It is too traumatising. Since, I got the letter, I have not been myself again. If I forged certificate, I would not have bothered so much because if you do such a thing, you should be expecting anything. Sooner or later, you would be exposed. But, this is the same result I have been using all my life and no one has ever declared it forged. This is no doubt, a great error, on the part of the government. I just hope they clear me on time.”
When the Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Soji Eniade who was flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, was announcing the dismissal of the workers, he said that about 684 workers were not found at their duty posts during the last Physical verification Exercise (PVE) carried out in the state.
He said the state government is restructuring the state civil and public service by ascertaining the quality and quantity of the workforce, stressi@ng that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to determine the accurate size of the workforce and pensioners exposed that there were 1,432 fictitious state pensioners’ names, 84 fictitious local government pensioners and 505 fictitious workers in the state civil and public service, amounting to 2021.
He stressed further that the state government discovered that 662 personnel on its payroll were in possession of forged WASSCE certificates discovered during the certificate verification handled by Messrs Captain Consulting consultant.
Three hundred and five of the personnel were from the local government, 152 from ministries, 149 from Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), 28 from parastatals and two from the State Universal Basic Education Board.
He further pointed out that 670 workers that were discovered to have submitted forged certificates, 8 out of them resubmitted their WASSCE certificates for re-verification while the remaining 662 had been summarily dismissed and the onus is now on them to prove that the WASSCE certificates in their possession are original.
The HOS said that the exercise would be a continuous one as the consultant is expected to extend the verification to higher institution certificates submitted by the state civil and public servants and consequently urged the workers who are still in the service to voluntarily resign as the government will deal with them within the ambit of the law.
He said, “I am an advocate of some of the private sector practices to be injected into the public and civil service in the state. The level of decadence in the system is embarrassing and this cannot continue.
“What the government is doing is called self-check. There is financial check, institutional check, quality check et al. Any organization or even individual that wants to progress must engage in self-check as standard practice.
“The government engaged the services of a consultant and this is the same consultant used by the previous administration.
“We do not want any interference and that is why we have engaged a third party to weed out the bad ones amongst us all. In 2013, workers with fake certificates were dismissed and it is a continuous process which the government will see to the end.
“We are using the exercise to determine the quality and the quantity, right size, of the workforce for efficiency, prompt salary payment, and service delivery to restore the lost glory of the public and civil service. Initially, we had a total of 670 and 8 out of them have represented their certificates. We will give them the opportunity of re-verification. We believe in the saying that he who comes to equity, must come with clean hands.
“Also, we have started issuing queries to the personnel that prepared the payrolls where fictitious names were discovered.
“We want them to tell us where they generated the names and explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them,” the HOS added.
The State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Waheed Olojede, said “I have met with the Head of Service, Mr. Soji Eniade about the workers who have gone to WAEC to confirm authenticity of their certificates. He told me that 40 workers have gone to WAEC to verify their results and their reports would be forwarded to the consultant”.
“Those workers who have gone to WAEC to authenticate their certificates should be given fair hearing and where their claims are genuine, they should be let off the hook,” he said.
Speaking further, the NLC leader in the state said that others who know that they have genuine cases should go and verify their certificates and address the reports to the Head of Service.
Some of the affected workers who know that they are guilty of the allegation have gone into hiding because the government has threatened to prosecute them and collect all the salaries and entitlements they had been paid over the years.
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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