By Wole Mosadomi
More startling revelations have come out of the ongoing screening of all categories of civil servants in Niger State as 80 per cent of staff of the state Ministry of Education have been uncovered to be in the service for several years with forged certificates.
Already, the principal actor of a syndicate behind printing of the fake certificates of the state College of Education, COE, Minna has been arrested by the state police command.
Chairman of the screening committee and state Commissioner for Works, Mr Ibrahim Panti, who made this known while answering questions from journalists in Minna, also said five members of staff of the institution(COE), Minna, have also been arrested by the state Police and had made useful statements as investigations continue.
The commissioner said the suspected printer had admitted during interrogation that he had printed and sold out unspecified number of such fake certificates to many students, which they have used and were still using to secure employment within and outside the state.
The commissioner revealed that most of those uncovered to be having the fake certificates could not even write their names correctly neither could they communicate in simple English language.
He said: “The screening had been so revealing as 80 per cent staff of the state Ministry of Education are not genuinely certificated. During the exercise, many of them could not even write their names and could not also speak correct English.
“Most of them are teachers and one would wonder the type of knowledge they would have been imparting on the students.”
Panti, however, declared that all those involved had been sacked and would be replaced soonest with those having genuine certificates.
He said: “All the vacancies are going to be filled with people with genuine certificates. The essence of the screening is to determine the actual staff strength and block all wastages through over bloated salaries.
“Certainly, the final outcome of the screening will be beneficial to our graduates because many of them genuinely certificated will be employed.”
Panti disclosed that though he and members of the screening committee had been threatened severally by some faceless people suspected to be part of the culprits, the members would not be deterred in concluding the assignment given to them by the government.