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The Kogi State Government has expressed its determination to midwife the ongoing reforms in its civil service to a logical conclusion.
Addressing reporters in Lokoja, Monday, the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo said government cannot afford to continue “funding fraud” in the service.
“After The Staff Verification Exercise, Government decided to test the veracity of the certificates presented by the civil servants. The brain behind the certificate verification exercise was to ascertain if the civil servants are actually qualified for the jobs they do or claim to do.
“In the course of the Staff Verification Exercise, mind boggling revelations were made. Some head teachers in primary schools couldn’t communicate in English. These are the people teaching our pupils.
“The Civil Service Reforms is not all about blocking waste, but ensuring efficiency in the service. There are excellent hands in the Kogi State Civil Service but the odd ones may need to be brought to the level of efficiency and effectiveness.
“Recent discoveries of forged certificates in the service has vindicated government. We have wasted over 5 billion naira paying people who forged certificates to defraud the state and deprive the Kogi people of potable water, good roads, good hospitals and good schools. What we have used to pay workers with fake certificates was enough to provide water in every ward in Kogi State.
Fanwo said government was making efforts to offset salary arrears of some categories of workers who are being owed a few months salaries, assuring them of celebrating Christmas and New Year with joy.
“Even before the President’s advice to the Governors to pay salaries before the Yuletide, the Government of Kogi State had put in place machineries to clear salary arrears owed some categories of civil servants and pensioners.
“It is true that government is owing workers who were initially found to have violated the Public Service Rules but later pardoned by the Governor and returned to the payrolls.
“Government appreciates the patience of our patriotic workers even as we seek their understanding in finding a permanent solution to the challenge posed by the issue of salary payments across the nation in the face of dwindling resources and competing demands for the meager resources available.
“We cannot continue to pretend that a foam is as strong as a brick wall. States must begin to build business friendly environments to make people see alternatives to government jobs. We must also encourage blue-collar jobs to create wealth and promote entrepreneurship.”
He said the issue of salaries call for a concerted reasoning rather than turning it to a “political item by opportunistic politicians”, insisting that the Governor Yahaya Bello administration will continue to accord the civil service its “deserved respect.”
He said, “Governments all over the nation are torn between raising funds for infrastructural development, social security and salaries. We want to assure the people of the State that the days ahead are quite promising.
“The Empowerment of the Kogi State Road Maintenance Agency with quality professionals and state of the art equipment was aimed at beating down the cost of road construction and maintenance. Today, the wisdom behind the initiative has translated into better roads across the state.
“In 2018, KOGROMA will fix many rural roads in the state and match our agricultural ambition of massive production and massive marketing.”

BIG STORY

Ooni Of Ife’s New Wife, Yeyeluwa Silekunola, Enters The Palace With Grace, Elegance [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has received his new Olori after the necessary rites have been performed, the Palace said.

“Her Majesty, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola Ogunwusi is the new Yeyeluwa Oodua. Necessary rites fully performed,” a terse message from the Palace said.

See the photographs, courtesy of the Ooni’s Palace:

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NEWS

Jim Ovia Takes Africa Rise And Shine Book Launch To New York [PHOTOS]

Peter Okunoren

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The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia recently launched his book, Africa Rise and Shine in New York.

This prestigious event happened on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and had foreign dignitaries and private sector captains of industry in attendance.

Earlier, Africa Rise and Shine was unveiled in Lagos at Eko Hotel and Suites on September 17, 2018. The event had Nigeria’s Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON(SAN), other government functionaries, traditional rulers and private sector stakeholders present.

Africa Rise and Shine is available for pre-order online at Amazon and in-store at Laterna Books and Roving Heights.

See photo excerpts from the book launch in New York below:

The Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. John D. Coumantarosduring a meet-and-greet with the Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia at the Book Launch in New York

The Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia with the moderator, Zeinab Badawi on the podium at the Africa Rise and Shine book launch in New York

Mr. Jim Ovia holding up his book, Africa Rise and Shine during its launch in New York

The GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; The Publisher of Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru and Chairman of Coronation Capital, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede during a meet-and-greet with the Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia at the Book Launch in New York

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BIG STORY

We Can’t Pay New Minimum Wage — Governors

Peter Okunoren

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Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Abdulaziz Yari, said yesterday that governors were not against upward review of the minimum wage, but lack capacity to pay it.

This is as indications emerged yesterday that organized labour might resume its suspended strike over the issue as early as November 6.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the forum’s meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Wednesday night, Yari said the issue was not just on the agreed figure to be paid by the governors but also the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage.”

Noting that his colleagues made it known that they have no problem with a review of salaries but were being real, Yari, who is governor of Zamfara State, said: “The problem of the states is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today, we are struggling with N18,000.

“Some of the states are paying 35 percent, some 50 percent and still some states have salary arrears. So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.”

Yari’s statement caused a stir in the polity, yesterday. There was anxiety that labour leaders who met over the issue last night may call for industrial action. Some state chapters of the NLC, vowed to shut down the country if the minimum wage was not reviewed and implemented.

The NLC had demanded N30,000 as minimum wage, the governors proposed N20,000, while the Federal Government said it could afford N24,000.

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