The Edo State Government says ongoing reforms in the public service geared towards providing the dividend of democracy for the people have made things difficult for saboteurs in Government.
The State Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Anthony Okungbowa said this at an interactive session with newsmen in Benin City.
He said the initiative by the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki ended a stalemate between the Government and pensioners over unpaid pensions arrears by successive Government.
Okungbowa noted that the problems which could have eroded public confidence in the Government were resolved through commitment to the welfare of workers and prudent Management of State finances by the Governor.
“You will recall that for a very long time, retirees were not paid their arrears for months and in some cases years of pensions, they use to go out wearing black cloths to protest against the Government in the past. Some of them even slumped and died while waiting for pensions during past Government.
“But due to the commitment and will power, is became easier not because the Government have a lot more money than it had in the past, but again prudent in the management of finances of the State in addition to knowing where to out your money by prioritizing were key to the achievements in the pension reforms”, he said.
The HoS stated that the deployment of Data, regular biometrics of Civil Servants and pensioners by Governor Obaseki through the ICT, helped the Government helped to eliminate ghost workers in the State Civil Service.
“Despite this achievements, there we fifth Columnists that would want to subvert the process. What we have continue to do as a Government is to create less opportunities for them to succeed in their endeavour, then there will be less crimes for them to create.
“So, you make things difficult for them. Even when you have a well secured house, that is no guarantee that thieves will not come. But what you do is to make it difficult for thrives to be able to break into the house. From time to time, check your locks and all that. The Government has made it more difficult for this saboteurs to succeed in their enterprise”.
Continuing, Mr. Okungbowa said, “there has been infractions and there will always be infractions, but how many of those infractions occurs is another thing entirely? When you make it increasingly difficult fit people to sabotage the system, which is the way Mr. Governor has being executing his anti-corruption fight.
“He (Obaseki) is not after sending people to prisons, but, block those loopholes that use to be there that people exploited, to get away has been blocked. Even the people who use to take interest in such things now know that it is not note difficult to do those things.
“A lot of things has been wrong in the past, you go to Government hospital and you are suppose to have a doctor or nurse, but you can’t find him. When you go to his private clinic, you find him there at a time when he is suppose to be at work in Government hospital. Is that not corruption? When we talk about corruption, we are not necessarily talking about people taking money that do not belong to them, pecuniary or financial corruption alone, nepotism is also corruption”, according to him.
The HoS also said that “when you are suppose to put a competent person in a place or work when you have the authority to do so, but you someone who is less competent because is your brother or your friend or somebody who is related to you by way of consanguinity or affinity or in anyway related to you, is corruption. So, the Governor uses the word — corruption in a nebulous term not necessarily in the case of pecuniary or monetary consideration”.