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Outrage as UK-based driver remains on FG payroll

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Outrage as UK-based driver remains on FG payroll

Outrage as UK-based driver remains on FG payroll

 

There was outrage on Sunday over a United Kingdom-based taxi driver, who remained on the Federal Government’s payroll despite migrating to the UK in 2022.

Civil society organisations who spoke to The PUNCH on Sunday said the report was an indication of how deeply-rooted corruption was in the Nigerian civil service.

President Bola Tinubu had last week ordered a crackdown on civil servants who were still collecting salaries despite migrating abroad.

“The culprits must be made to refund the money they have fraudulently collected,” he said.

 

The BBC had on Sunday reported that a 36-year-old Nigerian civil servant, referred to as Sabitu Adams (not real name),  who moved to the United Kingdom in 2022,  was still collecting the salary of a civil servant.

‘Collecting N150,000 monthly’

According to the report, despite working as a taxi driver in the UK, Adams disclosed to the BBC that he continues to receive N150,000 monthly from the government job in Nigeria due to an understanding with his boss.

 

He said, “When I heard about the President’s directive, I smiled because I know I am doing better here – and not worried.”

Adams said he thought he would probably return after spending some years abroad when asked why he refused to resign from his position after relocating to the UK.

“To be honest, I didn’t resign because I wanted to leave that door open in case I choose to go back to my job after a few years,” he said.

Corrupt civil service

Commenting on the case of the UK-based driver, civil society organisation emphasised the need for stringent measures to restore accountability and effectiveness within the civil service.

They called for the prosecution of those involved in unauthorised salary payments and urged the government to take decisive action to address this corruption.

The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Musa, raised alarm over the pervasive corruption and lack of accountability within Nigeria’s civil service.

 

 

Musa stated, “I think the lack of accountability in governance is the crux of the matter because if people who are not supposed to collect salaries are still collecting, it can mean that some people are coordinating to short-change the nation.

“This can only happen because of the bastardisation of the civil service system. Everything is corrupted. A lot of people are getting these salaries and allowances without appearing in the office. I think corruption has undermined the effectiveness of the civil service in Nigeria,” he said.

Musa called for a comprehensive audit of workers and urged that those involved in these corrupt practices be held accountable.

On his part, the Executive Director of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, criticised the dereliction of duty by civil service leaders.

He stated, “It is an admission of dereliction of duty and it is enough for the Head of the Civil Service to be fired because it is her job to ensure that every civil servant is at his duty post at every particular time.

“They should supervise the supervisors, oversee the functioning of each officer, and render a performance index at the end of every day. The buck stops on her desk.”

Adeniran also called for accountability from the heads of agencies, departments, and key officials like the accountant general and auditor general. He stressed the importance of maintaining attendance registers and job performance records as references for salary processing.

He also said those who aided such practices should be handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission for proper investigation and prosecution.

Also, the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Onwubiko, emphasised the need for consequences for those responsible.

He asked, “What is going to happen to the person that allowed it to happen? That is what the government should be asking. Extend it to those who benefited initially from the funds. If it is the Head of Service, the person should be dismissed. If the person is no longer in service, then appropriate actions must be taken.”

Similarly, the Executive Director of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Okechukwu Nwagunma, said the practice was unacceptable within the public service.

He stated, “If any public servant needs to travel out of Nigeria and stay away from work, there must be a permit.”

 

Biodun Sowunmi of the Think Tank Group, a democratic institute dedicated to ensuring the stability of democracy in Nigeria, attributed the situation to a total system breakdown.

Sowunmi urged the government to take decisive action to identify and punish those responsible for exploiting the country’s resources by taking advantage of the porous system.

 

 

He said, “We now have a situation whereby we have workers both in the state and federal civil service, but in reality, some of them are based abroad. Either they went for a quick job or they relocated abroad without their salaries being discontinued. This is a mark of corruption within the system.

“The new payment system introduced by the Federal Government was meant to address this. What is happening now shows the weakness in the system. It has not been able to stop the milking of the resources of the country by those who have migrated.

“It is not only these people who should be made to pay back but also those who are authorising the payment at the departmental level should also be made to face the music. How could they have been collecting salaries for a year and more without anybody not knowing?

“Whoever is in charge of certifying the payment of workers should also be culpable. All of those within the service who collaborated with these people should be prosecuted. The government should go all out to fish them out; otherwise, those conspiring to cheat the country would not desist from doing so.”

Also, the President of the Centre for Human and Social Economic Rights, Comrade Alex Omotehinse, said individuals would keep exploiting resources as long as anti-corruption agencies remained selective in their efforts to combat the corruption crisis in the country.

He noted, “That is what we are saying about how corruption has eaten deep into our policies, and the so-called anti-graft agencies are experts in selectiveness in the fight against corruption.

“It is obvious that the EFCC and ICPC only go after those that don’t play ball or have a godfather because it’s only when the person involved is not among the untouchables. First, the person who is paying must know about it. Secondly, the ministry or MDAs he belongs to must be questioned.”

 

 

@PUNCHNG

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Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

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Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

 

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a couple (name withheld) attempting to sell their two-year-old son to travel to Canada.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.

Hundeyin said that the couple, aged 28 and 22, were apprehended on Tuesday while trying to sell their child off.

He stated that around 2.45 p.m. on Tuesday, the Isolo Divisional Police Officer received information that the couple went to Isolo General Hospital and expressed their intention to sell their baby boy.

 

 

“Upon receipt of the information, operatives from the station moved swiftly to the hospital where they were about to sell their child.

“The baby’s age is two and he has been rescued. Upon interrogation, the couple confessed that they decided to sell the baby to enable the man to travel to Canada for a greener pasture.

“However, the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

 

 

 

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Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

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Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

 

commend Police for successful operation against kidnappers

– applaud First Lady Remi Tinubu for encouraging gardens

 

 

The Lagos State House of Assembly has invited the Attorney-General of the State, Mr. Lawal Pedro, to appear before it to explain the Supreme Court judgement on local governments in the country.

 

Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

The lawmakers said there was a need for better understanding of the decision of the apex court in relation to some provisions in the Constitution of the country.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court had declared on Thursday that the 774 local government councils in the country should receive their funds directly from the Federal Government as well as manage such funds themselves being a tier of government.

The court further declared that allocations to local government councils run by caretaker committees were illegal.

Ruling after a voice vote by lawmakers at plenary on Thursday, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, ruled: “There is a need for us to seek clarification and understanding of this judgement. It will be good to invite the Attorney-General to brief us and give his understanding so that we do not run foul of the judgement.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly has resolved to write a letter of commendation to the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, over the successful operation by men of the force that led to the elimination of nine kidnappers in the state recently.

A letter of commendation is also to be sent to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Adegoke Mustapha Fayoade, for the efforts of the policemen which led to the fruitful operation.

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the plenary, said the police and men of the force who took part in the operation needed to be commended.

Dr. Obasa agreed with members of the House that letters be sent to Egbetokun and Fayoade further charging them not to relent in keeping the State safe for residents.

He stressed the need for stakeholders to fast-track considerations for the creation of state police to support the federal police system.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Noheem Adams, had earlier recalled how the police launched the operation against some kidnappers in the Ladipo area of the state and eliminated nine of them.

According to him, there has been calm in the area since the operation was carried out.

Noheem added that the Ikorodu area of the state which hitherto had issues of kidnapping now enjoys relative peace.

In another development, the House of Assembly has applauded the First Lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, for seeking to encourage subsistence agriculture.

The Speaker said it was a beautiful idea to encourage Nigerians to have gardens in their houses arguing that this would help to create food sufficiency.

He recalled that schools had farms in the past adding that current situations call for a return to that period.

Eromosele Ebhomele
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

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3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

 

3 ST and Discover Badagry Tours have rolled out amazing tour of the countries with mouth watering packages.

The vacation tour is centred on Benin, Togo and Ghana. Slated for six nights and 7 days from August 25th till 31st, 2024.

Here is the details of the amazing tour package:

 

 

3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

6 nights/7 days
25th—-31st August,2024

3 countries
Benin 🇧🇯 Togo 🇹🇬 and Ghana 🇬🇭

2 nights in each countries.

Package includes
-Transportation
-Border Logistics
-Accommodation
-Visitation to historical sites in all the countries
-White pool party
-Games
-Labadi beach groove .

Fee:
Single—#850,000
Couple—#1,350,000
Family of 4/5–#2,500,000.

Traveling documents:
International passport
Yellow card
Covid vaccination cards.

It’s going to be educating and entertaining.

Powered by: 3 ST and Discover Badagry Tours.

☎️ +234 803 422 5622
+234 907 109 0060

Olayinka HUNSU

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