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ONDO: Govt loses N400m to payroll infractions

•Gov Akeredolu receives Committee report, orders dismissal of officers earning double salaries 

•Says no recruitment till verification exercise is over 

GOVERNOR Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has directed the Head of Service to dismiss officers who were found to have been receiving double salaries from the state payroll.

Akeredolu gave the directive todaywhile receiving the report of the Committee for Verification, Scrutinization and Clean-up of the State Payroll in his office at Alagbaka, Akure. 

The governor, who suspected that the state payroll including salaries and pensions had been compromised, set up a seven-member committee led by the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Victor Olajorin to continuously clean up the payroll infractions. 

Other members of the Committee are: Tope Popoola Esq, Hadj Badmos, Dr. Ola Obaado, Bola Taiwo, Kayode Edema and Lawrence Akintunde.

 Receiving the report,  Akeredolu frowned at the different infractions discovered in the payroll. He lamented the over-bloated workforce which he said was occasioned by many ghost workers. 

 In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, the governor also directed that all Ministries, Departments and Parastatals in the State should stop recruitment under any guise until the Salary Verification Committee has concluded its assignment.

“We have over-bloated workforce, and undoubtedly, I am sure there are many ghost workers. Those who are receiving double salaries, apart from recovering the money from them, I am directing the Head of Service to get them dismissed. They must serve as deterrent to others,” Governor Akeredolu said. 

 He commended the committee for doing a good job and not compromising their integrity. 

 Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Olajorin, informed the governor that the first and major step taken by the committee was to contact the various service including the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Hospitals’ Management Board (HMB), Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) among others.

 He stated that the committee also obtained vital documents like the Nominal Roll, Disposition List, Pay Register and Pension Payroll so as to achieve its mandate.

 “The documents were consequently scrutinised and in the process, some infractions were discovered.

“Mr Governor, permit me to inform you that our beam light was initially focused on TESCOM and some of the infractions detected were about officers/pensioners receiving both salary/pension, retired officers later reappointed and drawing salary/pension, officers whose salaries are hanging among others.

“Details are contained in the Volume 1 Report of the Committee. In the process, a sum of N304,859,812.51 was discovered as the aggregate loss to the State Government from the above infractions. 

“In furtherance of our activities, attention was shifted to the pay register of Hospital Management Board. The committee carried out on-the-spot verification for both medical and non-medical personnel in their various facilities across the state. 

“The exercise led to the discovery of some unwholesome practice like abscondment, study leave without pay, payment of salaries to officers after resignation, while some officers couldn’t be traced to any health facilities. 

 “So far, a sum of N192,873,592 has been discovered from HMB as the total loss to the State Government. Mr. Governor, permit me to mention that the Committee has so far, identified the sum of N497,733,404 for infractions in TESCOM and HMB,” Olajorin said. 

The Chairman also explained that another issue of concern found by the Committee was the lopsidedness observed in the posting of officers to health facilities at the urban centres at the detriment of the ones in the rural areas. 

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