Photo: Gov Lalong
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State has threatened to remove from office and ensure the prosecution of any political appointee in the state who is found to abuse his oath of office.
The governor gave the warning on Tuesday in Jos at the inauguration of the chairman of the Plateau Civil Service Commission, 12 political appointees and other key statutory government functionaries.
Lalong said the appointees were selected based on their pedigree, track record of service, diligence and competence in the public service and private sector and urged them to be patriotic and selfless discharging their duties.
“You must refrain from abusing your offices and also shun any act of corruption, favouratism and nepotism. The civil service is not a religious organization, political party or ethnic entity.
”You must be professional and fair to all according to the extant laws and regulations guiding your agencies.
“Any appointee who is found defaulting from the oath of office would be removed and where necessary prosecuted for abusing public trust.,” he said.
The governor also assured the appointees of government’s full support in discharging their duties.
Governor Lalong further decried the trend of age falsification by workers in the civil service, to extend the due date of their retirement, stressing that the action was obstructing the employment of teeming youths in the state, who are yearning to contribute their quota to the development of the state.
“Even with deaths, elevation to the federal government and retirement, the amount we pay as salaries for civil servants still remains the same for several years.
“The situation made me to set up a committee to look into the issue because there were no vacancies to engage youths we had interviewed for employment in the service,” he said.
“Already, about 532 names have been removed from government payroll after an initial investigation, which revealed inconsistencies in their records.
“Some had falsified their age or tampered with their records. Others could not appear to answer queries on such records.
“Greater accountability and transparency is also being pursued in the civil service through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to track those who are shortchanging government.
”Further verification is being carried out by the high-powered committee under the leadership of former Secretary to Government of the State, Nde John Gobak,” he said.
Lalong noted that the inauguration of the chairman of the commission and other appointees, would ensure that the doors of opportunities are opened to engage youths in the service, who are technology savvy.
He expressed hope that the chairman of the commission would also ensure the removal of ghost workers in the service, while making it more effective, result-oriented and accountable.
Responding on behalf of the appointees, the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Mr Luka Fwangyil, assured Lalong of their commitment towards achieving the set target.
He said that alteration of personnel records would no longer be tolerated while diligence and productivity would be rewarded.
The new political appointees included : Mr Luka Fwangyil, Chairman, State Civil Service Commission, Mr Rindam Lar, Auditor-General, Mr Arlat Dasogot, Chairman, Plateau State Internal Revenue Service and Ms Kyennan Mizim, Chairman, Disability Commission, among others.