Retired workers still on payroll, Anambra LG commission chairman laments

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The Chairman, Local Government Service Commission in Anambra State, Vin Ezeaka, has lamented that “ghost workers” are still receiving monthly salaries in local governments across the state, despite the fact that many workers have retired from the system.

As a result, Ezeaka asked the local government employees to fish out and eliminate ghost workers within the LG commission in the state, while assuring the employees that the 22-year-old ban placed on employment within the commission might be lifted if all stakeholders join hands to fight corruption.

He stated this on Thursday, during a leadership retreat organised by the Idemili South Local Government Area headquarters, Ojoto, while responding to the pleas by members of the National Union of Local Government Employees, who were calling for the lifting of the 22-year-old ban on employment.

It was gathered that no recruitment has been done at that level since 2002.

The leadership retreat was themed ‘Changing gear – Intensifying and consolidation of the 2023 democracy dividends in Idemili South and a charged up 2024’.

Ezeaka said, “We are aware of the need to employ more workers but cooperate with us to let us rid the LG system of fraud and ghost workers. The teaching service sector has solved its own problems.

“The biometric capturing has been sabotaged. Tell us who the actual workers are. Instead of the wage bill being reduced despite the fact that more people have retired, it has remained the same and the pension bill has been going high.

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“Tell us your work schedule to ascertain where there are vacancies. I am seeking the cooperation of heads of personnel management, heads of local government administration, and NULGE to help rid the system of ghost workers.

“We urge all heads of personnel management in the 21 local government area secretariats of Anambra State and other LGA stakeholders in the LGA system to fish out ghost workers, it is regrettable that instead of wage bill to reduce, it has remained the same for years, despite many retirees.”

The state Deputy President, NULGE, Nicholas Arumeh, commended the state government for its ‘operation-zero potholes’ and the massive road construction ongoing in the state with particular reference to the 3-3/Otuocha/Nzam Road, saying that the LG employees were strong supporters of the government.

Arumeh pleaded not to allow the LG system to be phased out, saying that no general recruitment had been done in the commission since 2002.

He said, “There are no longer junior workers in the LG system. There are many vacancies left by hundreds of pensioners who have retired from service for over two decades now. You can imagine a level 12 or 14 worker will come to work and start sweeping his office because of the absence of junior staff.

“I also plead with the governor not to remove the N12,000 cash he added to our salaries to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, it has been of great help to workers.”

Also speaking, the Head of Personnel Management, Idemili South Local Government Area, Mrs Anthonia Olie, said there are 211 employees at Idemili South Secretariat, and there are vacancies for more than 500 personnel not occupied.

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Olie added that the embargo on recruitment should be lifted so as to employ workers, especially in the junior cadre.

Speaking earlier during the retreat, the ISLGA Chairman, Mrs Amaka Obi, said that the retreat was organised to enhance capacity building, and effective management and let the residents of the council area know the LG aims and objectives for the year.

Obi said that the intention of the retreat was to benchmark the targets set by the council secretariat, ascertain performance gaps, and consequently devise strategies to ensure such deficits are recovered before the end of the year.

The highlights of the retreat included questions from the residents of the council area and the presentation of some drugs, and medical products/items.

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