Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has directed the Head of Service to dismiss officers who are receiving double salaries from the state payroll.
He gave this directive on Wednesday after receiving the report of the Committee for Verification, Scrutinisation, and Clean-up of the State Payroll.
Governor Akeredolu suspected that the state payroll, as well as salaries and pensions, had been compromised, and set up a seven-member committee to continuously clean up the payroll of infractions.
The committee, chaired by the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Victor Olajorin, submitted its report to the governor at his office in Alagbaka, Akure on Wednesday.
After reading the reports, the governor frowned at the different infractions discovered in the payroll and decried the over-bloated workforce which he said was occasioned by many ghost workers.
He also ordered that all Ministries, Departments, and Parastatals in the state should stop recruitment under any guise until the committee has concluded its assignment.
“We have an over bloated workforce and undoubtedly, I am sure there are many ghost workers,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde.
“Those who are receiving double salaries, apart from recovering the money from them, I am directing the Head of Service to get them dismissed. They must serve as a deterrent to others.”
Governor Akeredolu commended the committee for doing a yeoman’s job and not compromising their integrity.
Earlier on, Olajorin informed the Governor that the first and major step taken by the committee was to contact the various services, including the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Hospitals’ Management Board (HMB), and Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), among others.
He explained that the committee also obtained vital documents like the nominal roll, disposition list, pay register, and pension payroll to achieve its mandate.
“The documents were consequently scrutinised and, in the process, some infractions were discovered,” Olajorin said. “Mr Governor, permit me to inform you that our beam light was initially focused on TESCOM and some of the infractions detected were about officers/pensioners receiving both salary/pension, retired officers later reappointed and drawing salary/pension, officers whose salaries are hanging among others.
“Details are contained in the Volume I report of the Committee. In the process, a sum of N304,859,812.51 was discovered as the aggregate loss to the state government from the above infractions.
“In furtherance of our activities, attention was shifted to the pay register of the Hospital Management Board. The committee carried out on-the-spot verification for both medical and non-medical personnel in their various facilities across the state.
“The exercise led to the discovery of some unwholesome practices like abscondment, study leaves without pay, payment of salaries to officers after resignation, while some officers couldn’t be traced to any health facilities.
“So far, a sum of N192,873,592 has been discovered from HMB as the total loss to the state government. Mr Governor, permit me to mention that the committee has so far identified the sum of N497,733,404 for infractions in TESCOM and HMB.”
The chairman also explained that another issue of concern found by the committee was the lop-sidedness observed in the posting of officers to health facilities in the urban centres to the detriment of the ones in the ritual areas.
Other members of the committee were Tope Popoola, Hadj Badmos, Dr Ola Obaado, Bola Taiwo, Kayode Edema, and Lawrence Akintunde.