Against the backdrop of comments credited to kogi state head of service Deborah Ogunmola that some officials have smuggled ghost workers into the payroll, the Organised Labour in the state has challenged her to name the officials involved in the racket or face the wrath of the workers.
In a statement made by the chairman Nigeria Labour Congress( NLC) , Comrade Onuh Edoka and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Comrade Ranti Ojo ( TUC) described the allegation as unfortunate given the fact that the state government had conducted staff verification exercise that lasted for over three years.
The statement noted that aside from the normal verification exercise that lasted three years, the government also organised pay parade for all workers and had their biometric data captured.
The statement therefore challenged the Head of Service to publish the names of the ghost workers, their MDAs and the senior civil servants involved in the criminal activities.
The labour leaders said the government’s statements since after the screening indicated that the payment system has been made watertight and only the governor could order the inclusion of any names in the payroll and wondered how senior civil servants could gain access to the payroll again.
They said until the identities of those involved are revealed, the organised labour would view the action of the Head of Service as a deliberate attempt to rubbish what the State government has achieved from the screening exercise and thereby throw the entire workforce into another round of screening exercise again.
The organised labour also accused the Head of Service of finding avenues of perpetuating herself in office having reached her retirement age in service since two years ago.
The statement advised the state government not to listen to any advice that could set it against workers, noting that the Head of Service outburst was a coup against workers aimed at denying them their minimum wage.
It called on the State government to hasten the implementation of the minimum wage to the workforce as being done in other states.
They equally praised the government for prompt payment of state workers salary and urge the local government Administrators to emulate the state government for prompt payment of the local government workers and primary school teachers.
The statement reiterated the loyalty of the entire workforce to the state government and expressed the hope that government would reciprocate by giving priorities to workers welfare.
Meanwhile, the head of service Deborah Ogunmola has denied ever making the comment in the meeting she held with Permanent Secretaries where she was alleged to have made the comment.
In a statement signed by Mesole David Olaiya (PRO Office of Kogi State HOS) said, there was a publication by Graphic Newspapers that attended the meeting with the permanent secretaries.
The statement reads, ” I never mentioned Ghost Workers throughout the meeting I held with Perm Secretaries.
She described as most unfortunate that people who were not invited and not present at the meeting that concocted the story that top civil servants smuggled ghost workers into the payroll.
" I don’t talk anyhow, I choose my statements carefully. I repeat, I never mentioned the word “Ghost Workers”. I have asked those circulating the story to step it down in the spirit of justice." She appealed.