BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—NO fewer than 3,000 workers in the Edo State public service may soon lose their jobs following the outcome of the verification exercise recently carried out by the Information Communication Technology, ICT, Department in the governor’s office.
It was learnt that those likely to be affected were found wanting as there were discrepancies in their ages and educational qualifications.
It was also gathered that the ICT Unit, which verified their documents, found them to have either over-stayed in service, were mentally unstable, physically blind or have falsified their ages and credentials over time, to remain in service.
Although the list of the affected workers has not been made public, the fate of the civil servants, it was gathered, rests with Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s official approval for their disengagement from service.
The development is coming on the heels of the disengagement of over 962 primary school teachers by the state government over falsification of age and certificate forgery.
Reacting to the alleged plan by the government to sack the workers, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion, said the development was a routine exercise in the civil service aimed at verifying the actual number of the state government employees, adding that the state government was not discriminating with the exercise as alleged by the wokers.
Also reacting, Edo State Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Emmanuel Ademokun, described the alleged sack list as an official working document of the government.
He said: “It is not sack. I see it as a working document of the government because we are used to verification of credentials and others for those of us in the core civil service. I just feel the government is carrying out the process to know those who have their primary school certificates.”
Ademokun, who decried the mass reduction of Edo State work force from 15,000 to less than 5,000 prior to the inception of the Oshiomhole administration, said 1,800 workers were affected in the recent screening, either as a result of age falsification or on the basis of inability to present primary school certificates.