The untold stories of Oyo workers’ bio-data verification exercise
Last week, I got an email from the Oyo state government in which they tried to clarify the government’s decision to conduct a bio-data verification exercise for civil servants in the state.
In the statement, the state’s head of service Soji Eniade, the exercise is for all civil servants in the state, adding that it is meant to verify the number of workers in the state.
“This type of exercise is common in every organisation because it is a way of having the bio-data of all workers,” he said, adding that “there is nothing new about the exercise since it is an in-house thing.’’
But many civil servants in the state disagree with the Head of Service. In a couple of emails to IBPulse, workers described the exercise as a witch-hunting exercise aimed at punishing those that publicly spoke in favor of the strike action embarked upon by workers in the state following the failure of the state government to pay salaries for four months.
Another worker believes the state government is attempting to hold on to the funds it got from the federal government to pay the outstanding salaries.
“They are using delay tactics and are keeping the money in banks in order to make returns from it,” a worker said.
Yet another set of civil servants believe the exercise is meant to reduce the amount that would be paid to workers. This is because the state government got the money from the federal government based on the number of workers prior to the screening exercise.
“If there are 10,000 less workers after the screening, will the governor return the money for those workers to Buhari? I don’t think so. He is just trying everything to reduce the amount he will be paying,” another worker told IBPulse.
Another interesting twist to this screening matter is the possibility of the whole exercise being an avenue to pump out money and settle a supporter of the governor.
“We know politicians, this is what they do when they want to pump out money to be shared among their colleagues and supporters. Wait till you hear how much they are spending on the exercise,” I was told told.
Let’s just hope they are not paying for the exercise from the money they got from the president to pay workers’ salaries.
The verification exercise entails confirmation of the qualification of workers’ credentials. The civil servants are required to present the original copies of their certificates and other documents among other things at the respective verification centers across the state.
IBPulse will be following the process closely