22nd February, 2020
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
About 17500 rogue serving and retired civil servants have been exposed in Rivers state by the application of biometrics, as directed by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Of the lot, 11, 000 civil servants were found to have forged their age.
The government also discovered no fewer than 1,500 civil servants with more than one pay point, meaning that they were stealing from the government by earning double salaries from different ministries.
The biometrics also identified no fewer than 5,000 fake pensioners.
The exercise was such revealing that the government has concluded plans to begin fresh biometric capture of all retiring civil servants from next week.
According to The Tide, the Rivers Government newspaper,these details were made public by the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mr. Ibifuro Asawo, during a chat with newsmen, last Monday in Port Harcourt, on the activities of his department in the past two years.
Asawo explained that the new policy of the Wike administration is to ensure that all sectors were driven by ICT to inject transparency and accountability in the system.
“We plan to synergise and link all ministries, departments and parastatals for the ease of doing business in the state,” he emphasised.
On the new policy of government to run an ICT-driven administration, the governor’s aide said that the new automated public service system was such that no civil servant can cut corners.
“What we have done now is such that we know how many people will be retiring each month and at each quarter, and so, nobody can short-change government”, Asawo noted.
The plan in the upcoming months, according to Asawo, is to move down to the grassroots.
“We plan to cover the 23 local government areas. Our vision is to encourage them to invest in ICT because that is the way to go now.”
Currently, he revealed that the ICT department has covered all health institutions in the state through an automated and integrated system.
“Everything we are doing now is going digital. So, if you go now to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, doctors are now using the system to register patients and keep records for easy tracking and retrieval.”
The next step, he revealed is to capture all health facilities and professionals online. This, he said, will curb quackery.