From Joe Effiong,Uyo
Akwa Ibom State government has threatened to prosecute persons behind the employment syndicates said to be fleecing applicants seeking government jobs in the state.
The state’s Head of Service (HOS) Mr Effiong Essien, who admitted having complaints about employment racketeering, told journalists in Uyo on Tuesday that his office has been fighting to apprehend the syndicate and called for partnership and useful information from the public to apprehend the culprits.
Essien expressed sadness that the scammers may have possibly been issuing fake employment papers to unsuspecting members of the public, but have the assurance that he would protect the privacy of people who would volunteer useful information on the syndicate.
The HOS maintained that the government had not been involved in secret employment and that recent employment had been based on the need of the service since employment opportunities remained limited in the service.
“I have always said whenever someone says there is secret employment, by whatever means possible, get a photocopy of such a letter of employment and bring and I will tell if it is a government employee or fake letter of employment.
“There are a whole lot of speculations and fake news about employment. There are also scammers all around the state in the name of employment. There is no doubt that some of them may even give fake employment letters to people.
“If you hear of such things, mention the name of the person and possibly the department so we can verify. My office would gladly want to know who has employed someone into the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service without the Head of Service knowing about it.
“I am interested in the matter because the issue is so much in the public domain about secret employment. The thing seems to be a ghost.
“I don’t have any doubt about racketeering. Let us partner, let me know the members of that racket. The public service rule is there for any civil service caught in serious misconduct. If such a person is found wanting, at the end of it, it is dismissal from service.
“I would not spare anything to take full measure of discipline on anybody that is involved in it. You can inbox me privately, and I can assure you of privacy to such information.
“I have gone on air to enlighten members of the public that people should not be involved in any secret employment because there is nothing like that. Let nobody collect money from any person in the name of employment. It is fake,” he stated.
Essie announced that the service would soon be fully digitized with a team working on it since the beginning of the year adding that Governor Udom Emmanuel had shown interest in the complete digitization of the service.
He decried the non -challant attitude of workers towards work despite the state government’s commitment to pay salaries.
He said training on attitudinal orientation and emotional intelligence for workers meant to work on their psyche has commenced in batches.
The HOC explained that the process of recruiting 1,000 teachers for primary schools would soon be sorted out while verification for payment of gratuities for retired primary school teachers for the 2019/2020 batch would soon be done.
He mentioned that the financial involvement of gratuities including those inherited from previous administrations remained high even as the government has been working on settling more gratuities after the payment of the 2016 batch.
He commended the Governor for his prompt responses to workers needs especially the recent NUT strike and assured civil servants on the speedy development of the civil service estate in Ibiono Ibom and Ikono Local Councils.