From Babatunde Rahman, Lokoja.
The Kogi State Government has allegedly finalised plans to sack over seven hundred civil servants across the 21 local government areas of the state in the next few days.
News Hub Mag! reliably gathered that the lists of affected workers consists of those earlier pardoned by the Government during the last screening exercise but still owed salaries ranging from 10 to 18 months
The exercise, according to our source, was designed to weed out ghost workers and other unintended beneficiaries for the lasted over three years.
Already some of the lists sighted by our correspondent revealed that Yagba East has 70 staff to be laid off, while Dekina Local government area has the highest number with 150 staff scheduled for sack, while other local government areas have their own lists.
News Hub Mag! gathered that the decision was arrived at last month at one of the weekly exco meetings where it was agreed that the screening exercise have not yielded the desired results of reducing the monthly wage bill of the state which is put at N2.6 billion.
News Hub Mag! further gathered that not even the 80 percent in the state and 35 percent to local government workers being paid since April have had any significant impact on the finances of the state forcing them to look for more areas of further savings.
“The Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello therefore asked exco members present at the meeting to put heads together and suggest ways of further reducing the state’s wage bill” our source disclosed.
Our source said there were many suggestions that were ignored unless a member suggested that the Governor should rescind his decision to pardon those who had been found with one infraction or the other such as age falsification, certificate forgery or alteration of grades.
“This seem to go down well with the Governor who agreed with the suggestion and told them to go ahead and compile the list and forward it to him for approval. However, the Supreme Court judgement of 30th August had put the decision on hold. But now that that one is out of the way and the Governor is firmly comfortable in the driver’s seat following the Supreme Court judgement affirming him as the authentic winner of the last governoship election, the coast is now clear for the announcement anytime from now,” our source supplied.
However, when our correspondent contacted the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, he debunked the reports and said to the best of his knowledge that the government has not concede such plan.
“It is not true. I can confirm to you categorically that Government has no plan to retrench. The Governor is committed to protecting the interest of Kogi workers” he said.