“We have cut down the Civil Service by over 10,000 workers; We met 60,000 workers, now 50,000 -DTSG.”
In a recent media chat titled “Delta APC will be defeated with Okowa’s achievements- Okowa’s aide” as published by Vanguard on the 11th of November 2017, the Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Media, Mr. Ossai Success Ovie on the 5th paragraph while sermonizing on that, described as the achievements of the Okowa administration on the fact that over 10,000 workers have been axed from the Delta State Civil Service.
In his words, “As at the time Gov Okowa assumed office on May 29, 2015, Delta State had over 60,000 workers on its payroll. However, He was able to meet the obligations to the workers through debt payment re-scheduling, cutting waste, contract reviews, and prudent management. As part the on-going biometric exercise to weed out ghost workers, the State has been able to prune down the size of the workforce to 50,000, which is still very high compared to that of other States.”
The import of this remark is deep and quite profound. Celebrating the slashing of 10,000 jobs in a period of about two years is to say the least, surprising and unfortunate. These 10,000 workers are more than mere numbers. They are men and women, fathers and mothers, Deltans upon whom the hopes of their families rest. These people now described by the Special Assistant as “ghosts” are the same people who have been the core of the support base of successive PDP administrations since 1999. These same “ghosts” voted in the present administration. They are only the victims of an unnerving political power play and vendetta.
Deltans can recall that these were the same workers employed into the Delta State Civil Service by the immediate past administration. The vacancies were announced, forms were purchased, exams and interviews were conducted and successful applicants thereafter employed. Their only undoing is that a new Pharaoh is now in power who now finds it expedient to refer to them as “ghosts” all in a desperate attempt to obliterate the legacies of the immediate past administration.
The irony of the situation is that the same administration that has discovered “ghosts” as workers have placed an embargo on employment in the Delta State Civil Service, thereby dashing the hopes of Deltans with civil service aspirations. Interestingly or rather curiously, the State government monthly wage bill stated to be in the sum of N4.5 billion have remained unchanged despite the 20% purge of the civil service.
What is more, this administration can afford to maintain the lavish lifestyle of over 2200 political aides and other hangers-on, the least of whom earning a monthly salary of N250,000.00. The amount spent on maintaining this motley crowd of aides is more than enough to employ over 30,000 workers earning the national minimum wage.
This is the Delta State ghost theory. The more you look, the less you see.
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