Contrary to recent media reports, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has denied the existence of ghost workers on its nominal payroll.
It will be recalled that in a leaked communication to the Chairman of the CRFFN Governing Council, a member of the Governing Council, Alhaji Bala Lawan Daura has alleged the existent of ghost workers on the nominal payroll of the Council whose recruitment did not follow laid down procedure.
Daura who is also the National President of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) wrote, “New Recruits: Adehi Jane 3/3, Bobai Solomon 5/2, Njoku Goodness Ozioma 6/2, Obalowu Abiodun Mohammed 7/4, Oguntuase Oleye Ezekiel 7/4, Ugwu Ifeoma Helen 7/4, Sule Samson Bello 7/4, Ojo Oyindamola 7/4, Adugo Ifeoma Helen 7/4, Agmad Umar Ahmad7/4, Edosomwan Kelvin Iredua 7/4, Ojong Bang Emmanuel 7/4 and Badamosi Yetunde Farida 8/2.
“The ongoing Personnel Budget refers. The audit has raised a strong query on 13 identified ghost workers on CRFFN payroll in the above names. The said audit query relates to gross violation of procedure, PRS & FR as follows; 1. No official Memo iro the recruitment from Head of HR to Management. 2. No Management approval. 3. No Management minutes to document same. 4. Worst of all, no Variation Order (VO). 5. No audited VO.
“All the above are in gross violation of PSR, FR & due process/procedures and therefore null and void.
“Sir, ensure this issue is resolved before 1st June when the budget is to be submitted.
“Note: 1. The above (observation) Audit Query is correct. 2. I only draw your attention to it, it’s not my making. 3. The issue is better resolved.”
However, speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos yesterday, the Registrar/ CEO of CRFFN, Barr. Samuel Nwakohu stated that he had just finished the personnel budget for 2021 adding that “I have painstakingly made sure that those thirteen names are there.
Nwakohu added that it was not true that there were thirteen ghost workers in CRFFN not even one saying that “I don’t have any ghost worker in CRFFN.”
He explained that those staff in question came in through replacement process adding that the exercise that brought them into the Council followed the laid down procedure.
According to him, “To the best of my knowledge, they mainly came in through replacement process; I minuted it to HR because it is their responsibility. They went through due process before it came back to me and I signed off.
“So, anybody who says that those thirteen people are ghost workers is being very mischievous. Yes, I am aware that in the course of documents flying up and down, you know when allegations are made, people write things, they wanted to draw the attention of the Chairman to the so called ghost workers. In the first place, the question you ask yourself is who is a ghost worker? A ghost worker is a non-existing person whose name is on the payroll and somebody else is collecting his money.
“If you come here when level 13 downwards have resumed, the ones in Lagos, I can show you their seats, the ones in Abuja, I can show you their seats, the ones in Port-Harcourt, I can show you their names on the nominal payroll, they earned salary last month, the previous month, they earned salary. There is no ghost worker. You know, I just think people are so mischievous in this place.
“Let us assume that you have an issue with the process, it doesn’t make them ghost workers. Does the person have the right to declare the exercise null and void? He could have written to the Head of Service, he could have written to the Chairman, he was just being mischievous.”
Asked to explain what he meant replacement process, the Registrar said, “When a staff dies or leaves, we are allowed to replace them. That is not the channel of employment, you can do replacement. There is different between recruitment and replacement. Recruitment you advertise, there are whole lot of things they do but in replacement, it is not, there are certain things you don’t do. Maybe, the HR people will tell you better.”
Asked to confirm if there was any audit query before him in this regard, he said, “There is none! You investigate only when something had gone wrong. If I could have a letter today addressed to me saying that the names on the nominal roll are wrong, I will set up a panel to investigate it. I mean, there is no query before me, be it audit, be it whatever, nobody has written to me to say there is ghost workers, their names were smuggled into the nominal roll and meanwhile, all of them are here working, they have all assumed office.”
Photo: Registrar/CEO, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr. Samuel Nwakohu.
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