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Fake employment letters were issued in Plateau Civil Service – Committee

Tuesday in Jos, a committee appointed by the governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, reported that false employment letters had been issued in the state’s civil service before his administration took office.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the 15-member committee was established on July 26 to examine the most recent recruitment drive held by the previous administration.

“Some fake employment letters were issued to some employees,” chairman of the committee, Dr Ishaya Agaldo, said as he presented its report to the governor.

He said that the state’s Civil Service Commission was able to detect some of the anomalies and discovered that some reporting and acceptance dates preceded the employment dates.

Agaldo explained that the committee also uncovered irregularities which involved recruitment of people into some positions without requisite qualifications.

“Some Third Class degree holders were employed to teach in tertiary institutions,’’ he said.

He stressed that the Civil Service Commission was not involved in the exercise and due process was not followed in most Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), where some exceeded their employment limits.

“Some employees were paid even without variation order.

“There were so many irregularities in documentation due to the hurried nature of the employment exercise.

“ There was an uneven spread across the 17 Local Government Areas,” Agaldo said.

He added that the committee discovered that employment of ad-hoc staff was grossly abused and slots shared to certain groups and individuals.

The committee recommended a review of the exercise to ensure compliance with due process with the exemption of MDAs that complied with civil service regulations.

It also recommended the discouragement of engagement of ad-hoc staff, usually abused, and recommended that such employees be given priority during recruitment exercises into the civil service.

Also, the committee recommended that employment into the state’s service should be conducted on regular basis adopting equity and fairness and in adherence with stipulated guidelines.

The committee also recommended reforms in the civil service to reposition it in its performance.

It recommended the digitalisation of information systems in MDAs to ensure access to information and smooth operations.

Responding, Mutfwang thanked the committee for its dedication and quality of job in spite of receipt of threats from individuals and interest groups in the matter.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Samuel Jatau, the governor said affected MDAs would be reviewed and a White Paper drafting committee would be inaugurated in line with the 15-member committee’s findings.

“I assure you that within this week we are going to inaugurate a White Paper drafting committee that we would hand over the report to and it will do justice to it,” he said.

He decried irregularities uncovered and said the administration was determined to reposition Plateau into comity of top 10 states in the country.

“We want to take Plateau to a higher level and to do that, we have to make it count, particularly its civil service, which is the engine room of governance in any government,” he said.

NAN reports that Mutfwang suspended last- minute appointments into the state’s civil service by the immediate past administration because of identified irregularities.

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