Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo Government said it has discovered 51 ghost workers in the state.
Head of Service (HoS), Dare Aragbaye, who addressed a press conference to herald this year’s Public Service Week, yesterday, said the ghost workers were discovered during a screening conducted by the state government recently.
He said the ghost workers were found in all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), saying government would continue to carry out staff auditing.
The HoS said the government will also continue to carry out verification of certificates of workers in its employ and screen the workers from time to time to ensure ghost workers do not exist in the state.
He said the names of the ghost workers have been removed from the pay roll, adding that efforts are on top gear to identify them in order to prosecute them.
Aragbaye said the state government did not owe any category of worker any salary, just as he disclosed that outstanding pension arrears and leave bonus would be paid soon.
On the payment of the new minimum wage, the HoS reaffirmed the position of Akeredolu that the state will pay N30,000 minimum wage for workers in its employ.
Meanwhile, a former House of Assembly member, Afolabi Iwalewa, yesterday, took a swipe at the state government over the demolition of his property located in Akure, the state capital.
He accused the government of destroying his property worth N20 million at Climax Hotel and Bar, behind SARS office, Akure.
The former lawmaker recalled that officials of the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had earlier stormed the hotel on November 16, 2019 to mark the place for demolition and carted some items away.
He said: “The first day they came was on Saturday without prior notice. They destroyed some things and took away some items but I quickly made some moves to resolve the issue and they returned some things taken away.
“I thought we have resolved it but I was surprised on Sunday that they came with full force, in company with Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Rasheed Badmus; Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy to the governor, Doyin Odebowale, policemen and thugs.”
He, therefore, vowed to seek legal means to challenge the action of the government for redress.
In his reaction, Badmus exonerated the state government from the blame.
He said there had been catalogue of petitions to his ministry and the office of the governor on the unruly activities at the hotel site, where he said they played music at odd hours with impunity, thereby disturbing the peace of the residents in the neighbourhood.
Besides, he said the hotel has no building papers as approved structure, while the building was meant for residential and not commercial purpose.
“Because of the fact that Iwalewa is an All Progressives Congress member, many people are accusing us of indulging him to operate illegally in spite of various petitions against him on the manner of operation at the hotel,” he said.
He affirmed that after series of petitions from different quarters, the issue was discussed at the state executive council and the former lawmaker was invited to do the right thing but reneged.