150 workers of the 296 workforce in the Cross River State Fire Service are currently over-aged, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr. Fabian Okpa, said on Monday.
Okpa, who said this in Calabar, noted that government was currently restructuring its Fire Service to make it more result oriented and to meet the World standard.
He said as part of the restructuring plan, a staff audit had been carried out to determine the total strength of members of staff of the fire service.
According to him, the result of the audit showed that the service had 296 members of staff in nine outstations across the state with Calabar as Head office.
"Out of this number, I discovered that over 60 per cent of the staff (over 150) was far way above the age that ordinarily supposed to be in the fire service," he said.
The special adviser said this was due to the measure hitherto adopted in the recruitment of personnel to the service which encouraged transfer of service from other MDAs to fire service.
"Perhaps due to scarcity of funds, what the past administration did was to carry-out a transfer of service where people were posted on secondment and transfer of service to fire service. I believed that was wrong," Okpa said.
He said the situation was partly responsible for the poor performance of the service in reacting to frequent fire incidents in the state.
He said, "What I intend to do is to take back this number back to the mainstream civil service. That much had been agreed with the state Head of Service who has given the go head."