Tony Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) has revealed that some LGAs in the state pay pensions and salaries to “ghosts” as a fraudulent means to shoot up their wage bills.
Stating that the act was being perpetrated by corrupt cashiers, the commission ordered that henceforth workers above grade level 10 are prohibited from serving as local government cashiers.
The chairman of the commission, Vin Ezeaka, a lawyer, who condemned the act on Monday during an ongoing familiarisation tour of LGAs in the state, charged workers in the system to shun all forms of malpractices or be ready to face the sanction.
He said, “We can’t understand why deceased workers and retirees should be included on the payroll system.”
He said such acts would shoot up the wage bills of LGAs, stressing that henceforth workers salaries would be paid based on the number of times they attended to work.
He said, “The familiarization tour is in line with Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s matching order to bring Anambra State Local Government System to its original mandate geared towards ensuring sustainable development of the grass roots.
“The purpose of the tour is to restore the lost glory of the Local Governments as well as attending to the challenges facing the various councils which hamper productivity and effective service delivery.
“The present Board of the Commission was inaugurated on October 19 to transform, revive and bring back discipline in the unified local government system.
“The resolution of the board to introduce biometric electronic monitoring machine in the local government system is to monitor workers’ attendance to work. Workers salaries will soon be paid based on the number of times they come to work.”
Ezeaka directed that all financial irregularities in the local government system be stopped, adding that disciplinary actions would be taken against defaulters.
He said ,“The issue of sharing of staff dlaims without due process must stop. Government has promised to bring back local government councils revenue windows back to LGAs, provided the workers are ready to change their attitude to work and abide by government’s policies and directives.”
The LGSC boss who also assured rewards for best performing workers to boost their morale and increase productivity, disclosed that officers above Grade Level 10 would no longer be appointed as Cashiers in the system.
He added, “Head of Department found wanting in his or her duties should be demoted. The commission will no longer condone any negative attitude that will undermine the commission and the Local Government system.