The Executive Secretary, Apapa/Iganmu Local Council Development Area, Mrs Olufunmilayo Mohammed, has reversed an earlier decision to retrench some members of staff of the council saying there was no such directive from the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to sack the workers in the first place as reported in some quarters.
According to the Executive Secretary, the decision of the Council to conduct an audit of the staff of the Council was informed by the discovery that out of the 500 temporary staff on the payroll of the Council, only about 125 were available during an audit exercise which lasted for two weeks.
She said the audit was conducted to actually verify the number of staff and also to uncover ghost workers (if any) who are on the payroll of the Council.
“We have more than 500 temporary workers and I have not been seeing them at work and we gave them two weeks to do an auditing of the temporary staff. We gave them two weeks to come. The first day, they did not come and we postponed it and the final day, it is only 75 percent of the people that responded and we gave the few people who did not respond letters, that they should bring proofs of their letters of employment which they could not bring”, she said.
Mrs Mohammed however said the decision to reverse the retrenchment, shows that there was no ulterior motive behind the exercise, as it was in the best interest of the council to ensure that probity, accountability and fiscal responsiveness were taking into account when expending public funds.
She also debunked reports that she received the directive to retrench the workers from the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, saying that the report published online which quoted her as saying the Lagos State Governor gave her directive to sack them was unfounded and totally untrue.
“Lagos State Governor cannot give me directive to sack anybody because presently, there is a Ministry of Wealth and Job Creation by the Governor which our LG have adopted that we will encourage people to work and we will provide job for them, but some people are not ready to work; they are just coming to the council to collect money and go and with this money we are paying to about 500 temporary workers, they can be used for capital projects, which we have been doing since we assumed office”, she said.
Describing the reports as damaging and uncomplimentary, Mrs Mohammed said the Council is nevertheless poised to ensure that life is made more comfortable for residents, saying the huge amount used to service the ghost workers could be better utilised for meaningful projects.
She urged the workers to return to their duty post and resume their work without fear of victimisation as this was not the purpose for conducting the exercise.
“We will review the exercise, but before then, I have reversed the dismissal. They should go back to their duty posts pending when they provide their employment letters”, she said.