…says gov’t to reward productivity, sanction ghost workers
Enugu State governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, has charged members of the Committee for Local Government Physical Staff Verification and Attendance to Work to discharge their assignments with the highest standard of ethical delivery, responsibility, fairness and impartiality.
The governor said this, Friday, while inaugurating the committee for the verification exercise at the Government House, Enugu, saying his administration was poised to reward productivity through the right incentives and sanction inefficiencies, non-performance and ghost workers.
Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Chidiebere Onyia, explained that the verification exercise was not meant to witch-hunt anybody but to ensure that everybody working with the government is held to account in line with the administration’s governance philosophy of transparency, accountability, traceability and optimal performance.
“I will like to give a bit context on why we are doing this. We have on many occasions visited local governments unannounced and the number of staff we see on duty during work hours do not reflect what is on our payroll list. We are very mindful of the fact that we have transitioned from not just talking about attendance but talking about productivity. We are looking beyond just people being at work but at what level of productivity are they adding to His Excellency’s push to move Enugu State from $4.4 billion to $30 billion over the next 4 to 8 years. This productivity of the public sector is critical, and based on that, we want to change the culture of public service,” he said.
He enjoined members of the committee to display utmost acts of responsibility in the discharge of their duties, adding that they were chosen for the job because of their track records.
“This activity requires the highest ethical demonstration from the team that has been selected. This team was selected for a very clear reason because most of you have a track record of being people that can stand to your own beliefs. And this should align to what the governor is pushing out that every single worker in Enugu that earns revenue from the government should have a clear contribution to the overall growth of the state,” he stressed.
According to him, workers in the state must justify their roles through dedication and commitments to their duties, maintaining that workers are expected to work for 5 days in a week and would not be informed when the committee would be visiting for verification.
“These visits are going to be spot-check visits. We will not disclose where and when we are going because we want to make sure that due process and diligence is followed. We take a poll of the number of staff wherever we get to. Their schedules of duty will also be reviewed. Productivity will be measured by the Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, and we have our team of technical experts that will be helping out in biometric verification, and that will be done in a very structured manner.
“The governor is clear that we do not appreciate redundancy in the way we do things. We have announced through our media team that every single employee of the government should be at work five days a week because that is what they are paid for, and they should be working in the areas they are assigned. Everybody that earns money in this state must be at work adding value to the way our public service functions,” he added.
He further noted that the terms of reference for the committee included, “to conduct periodic physical verification exercise; to determine the actual number of workers in the local government system; and to ensure that salaries are paid to only those who go to work with satisfied job responsibilities and work output.”
The committee, which will be chaired by Prof. Onyia has Comrade Kenneth Ugwueze, Theophilus Odo, Osondu Nnaji, Adenike Okebu, Peter Nnaji, Chukwudi Nsude, Dan Nwomeh as members while Prof Obiamaka Egbo will serve as secretary.