The authorities of Oyo State have blacklisted over 16, 532 workers and pensioners from it payroll, as a panel has been set up to investigate their alleged involvement in collection of multiple salaries, elongation of retirement age and other infractions.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan, on Wednesday, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Alli, said that the affected workers included employees and pensioners of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Teaching Service Commission, National Youth Service Corps members, local governments and tertiary institutions.
According to him, those affected were drawn from a total 100,259 workers and pensioners screened from the ministries, departments and parastatals, as well as the teaching service, local government, Broadcasting Service of Oyo State, judiciary, Water Corporation and tertiary institutions.
The SSG stated that workers, who should have retired but who were still working, and employees with bank accounts linked to invalid Bank Verification Number or without BVN, would also face the panel, while the payment of salaries of the concerned employees would be suspended immediately pending further investigation.
He said, “It is to be noted that the 16,532 employees, identified as having issues in their data, are not automatically thrown out of work nor are they confirmed guilty of any financial illegalities yet.
“That is why the panel is being set up to further evaluate the case of each person on a one-on-one basis.”
“The salaries of the 16,532 employees will be immediately suspended pending further investigation; multiple salary payments would be determined; refunds pursued and legal actions embarked upon accordingly.
“We will recover all monies credited into accounts but not accessed for all categories. All the employees concerned should face a further verification panel to be constituted by His Excellency, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, with adequate time line.
“It’s the intention of government to resume regular payment of salaries to staffers that are deserving of payment while those with cases to answer would be given room to defend themselves.”
“Further to the continuing efforts of Oyo State Government to eliminate fraud and errors in the payment of salaries, wages and pensions as well as to determine ghost workers, Oyo State government embarked on an employee verification exercise.
“We want to ascertain the actual number of employees in the regular employment of the state by various categories, determine who is a bona fide beneficiary of the salaries, wages and pensions being paid by government.
“We will ascertain the level of compliance in respect of mode and format of payment of salaries, e.g payment into bank accounts ensuring recipients have the mandatory Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) and BVN numbers.”
“The exercise was also conducted to fish out ghost workers, eliminate all forms of duplication and irregularities that may lead to the inflation of the payroll via the nominal roll and ascertain the level of compliance in respect of mode and format of payment of salaries.”