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Fraud in civil service: Tinubu orders punishment of culprits, collaborators

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan

In an obvious admission of rot in the Nigerian civil service, both President Bola Tinubu and the Head of Service, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, have confirmed the existence of ghost workers especially ex-civil servants who had been drawing salaries long after relocating abroad.

Consequently, Tinubu has directed that all civil servants who are drawing salaries from the government after relocating abroad should be made to refund the money.

The President also directed that the supervisors and department heads of the culprits must also be punished for aiding and abetting the fraud under their watch.

Tinubu’ gave the directive on Saturday at the award night organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), to commemorate the 2024 Civil Service Week.

The event was also to honour some outstanding civil servants in core ministries.

Represented by Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the President expressed dismay over the attitude of the ghost workers.

“During my recent visit to South Africa, I kept abreast of the week’s activities.

“I was particularly struck by the revelations shared by the Head of the Civil Service, regarding employees who had relocated abroad while drawing salaries without formally resigning.

“It is heartening to hear that measures have been taken to address this issue, but we must ensure those responsible are held accountable and restitution is made.

“The culprits must be made to refund the money they have fraudulently collected.

“Their supervisors and department heads must also be punished for aiding and abetting the fraud under their watch,” Tinubu said.

He reiterated that government would take appropriate measures to ensure they were punished and the money refunded to government treasury.

The President acknowledged the challenges in the civil service sector and reiterated his commitment to address them for optimal performance.

“Our administration acknowledges the challenges the civil service is facing.

“I want to give you the assurance that we are committed to ensuring the welfare and development of all civil servants to deliver optimal performance for the growth of our nation.

“Over the past year, I have provided all the necessary support to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to ensure the continued stability of the civil service.

“I also supported the office in implementing far-reaching policies and reforms capable of improving efficiency and service delivery, ” the president said.

The other activities to mark the night was the presentation of top three prizes to the winners and additional N500, 000 cash prizes to 40 workers.

Making the presentation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the HOCSF announced the top three prizes won by three lucky officers at the event.

“The Star Prize is a Brand New 2023 JAC JS4 Luxury Model SUV; the second is a 2 Bedroom semi-detached bungalow; and the third top prize is a serviced plot of land measuring 400sqm.

“I am also pleased to announce that the Nigeria Customs Service has graciously committed to donating 6 Toyota Camry Cars in support of the 2024 Civil Service Week.

”The office has started receiving the vehicles, and these will be presented as prizes to the next set of runner-up best performing officers,” she said.

Dr Mercy Ilori, a staff of Ministry of Transportation, won the star prize.

 

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