KWARA State Government says it has uncovered 29 underage employees, including a blind man who claimed to have worked as a driver for Ilorin South Local Area for 25 years on the state council payroll.
Speaking in Ilorin on Thursday, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy, Alhaji Isa Bawa, said they were discovered along with 279 physically challenged persons during a headcount and biometrics exercise by the government recently.
He said the exercise also revealed that there were overage workers in the 16 LGAs.
Bawa said, “We also had the issue of about 280 physically challenged persons when we were doing the exercise. Aside from the consultant coming round, there was also a committee that was asked to monitor what the consultant was doing.
“In Ilorin South LGA, I saw a blind man that came for the exercise led by his son.
“I asked him, ‘Daddy why are you here?’ He said, ‘My son, I’m an employee of this local government and I have been working in this council for the past 25 years’.
“I asked him, ‘You are working as what?’ He said, ‘As a driver?’ I asked again, ‘Who are you driving?’ He then asked his son to answer the question. I said, ‘Daddy there is no problem, go and meet the consultant?’ And we have several cases like that.
“Also in Ilorin South LGA, we were there when some people came in buses from Lagos for them to also be captured in the biometric exercise. If you are in still Lagos, there is no how you will be coming to Ilorin South LGA on a daily basis.”
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Tunji Morounfoye, said the government had no policy discriminating against the physically-challenged in employment and other opportunities.
He, however, said the government would not allow a situation where physically challenged persons were paid or employed for services or duties they did not render.
Meanwhile, Head of Civil Service, Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Cecilia Udoessien, said the state government had put in place a biometric machine to check workers who report late to work.
Udoessien, who said a desk had been created in her office to ensure strict monitoring of queries bordering on lateness, added that the solar powered machine would help identify latecomers.
Speaking in Uyo on Thursday on plans to mark the 2012 Public Service week with the theme, “Capacity Development for the Implementation of the Transformation Agenda,” she explained that many erring workers have been sanctioned but that the biometric capture machine will make the process easier.