Why I Removed Head Of Service – Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said he asked the immediate past Head of Service of the State, Mr. Jerry Obazele, to proceed on compulsory retirement over gross negligence tending towards fraud.

Speaking during the swearing-in of the New Head of Service of the State, Mrs Gladys Osaretin Idahor at the Government House, Benin City, Tuesday, Oshiomhole said “I am a defender of jobs. I believe experience is a value to be celebrated, not to be punished. But I have had to arrive at the painful conclusion that Obazele had to be relieved of his services because not only did he fail to provide leadership, he also conducted himself in a way that would have led me to approve of a fraudulent claim for pensioners.

“He was appointed according to my judgment and I accept responsibility for my poor sense of judgment but I also have the courage to correct my mistakes once I discovered it was a mistake.

“The responsibility of a Head of Service is to be a superintendent over the Civil service. There are many of our senior citizens who had retired from service from as far back as 1999, some even under the military and by the time I assumed office, many of these senior citizens had not received their gratuity for over a period of 12, 13 years. The situation was compounded by the thousands of workers that were retrenched by a former PDP government between 2000 and 2001 and all of those people were not paid their gratuity.

“There is no worst crime to a working man or woman than to deny him his deferred wage which we call gratuity which is meant to be paid at the point of disengagement so he can use the money to establish and face the rigors and reality of retirement.

“We tried to deal with this problem from inception. First, I gave a standing instruction to the Accountant General that pensioners must be paid exactly the same day as the current Civil Servants. It is not that we pay them if there is something left because at the end of the day, nothing will be left when you pay for every other thing. You must give priority accordingly.

“Two months ago, I called the Head of Service and I said, I am looking forward to the end of my tenure. When I say I want to finish strong and finish well, it is not only in the area of physical infrastructure, but I also want to deal with the social sector. I want to look for money and pay a chunk of money to these pensioners so that we can reduce the waiting time.

“So I asked him, do you have the numbers and the cost and he said yes and I told him, let me have the documents. He produced a document which detailed the number of pensioners year-by-year and the amount required year by year.

“No more gratuity based on who you know, it is batch by batch depending on when you retired. So I saw from the records that Obazele gave me that we have paid up to 2010. We have paid many people who retired in 2010 and according to the document, we had 130 persons who retired in 2010 who have not been paid and we had some other persons in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“These numbers were stated clearly and he also stated clearly to me, how much we required to pay for each year. For 2010, the figure was N175 million to settle the 130 persons. I said, OK, you let me have the names of these 130 persons for 2010 and the names of those who retired in 2011 through 2014 and the amount. The date of the retirement, the day of employment, the total number of years served which is the basis of calculating gratuity.

“One week passed, two weeks and by the 3rd week, I was watching news and I saw pensioners protesting but I had given instructions three weeks earlier that I want to pay these pensioners but I needed the details to do it.

“I told my secretary to call the Head of Service to submit all the details by 11am the next day since he already has the summary so we could start the process of payment. He should come also with the Pension Board Members and all the documents that have to do with pension payments.

“At 11am, they were in my office and they gave me a voluminous document. Just looking at it straight, I tried to look at 2010. Whereas the first document that was given says 130 pensioners have gratuity pending, the total value of which was N175 million, the new document shows 2010 that we have 377 people and we now need N490 million to pay them. For 2011, 2012, 2013, all the figures had changed.

“So I said, I don’t know all the details but 2010, I remember asking you, and you said many have been paid and that only 130 is the number left. So how has this number increased by 300% to 377? Obazele you are an Accountant, you have been Auditor-General, you have been Accountant-General, Permanent Secretary and now Head of Service. You more than me should be at home with figures, how do you explain this?

“The first thing he said was that, you know maybe they changed the mode of calculations. Maybe they are looking at when the papers were prepared rather than when people retired so I said, whatever formula you used, the number must remain the same. The total cost will not change. The only possibility of the numbers changing is if you have doctored the documents.

“In any case, the first document was given to me by you, prepared by ICT and this one you are giving me is also prepared by the same unit. Why should differences occur? If two people use different formula, I can understand. This is the same source and then he said, ‘oh, I didn’t actually look at the documents’. I said, you didn’t look at the documents you brought to me?

“The document, four persons signed: Accountant and DFA Pension Board signed, Secretary Pension Board signed, Director, ICT Software signed, Permanent Secretary, ICT signed, four signatories .Now, if I hadn’t remembered what they gave me before, seeing four signatories, I would have approved it and the numbers had changed radically.

“Now, the simple thing was that in the past, when they bring this document, I normally minute it to the ICT to crosscheck. So now, they got ICT person to sign so that I have no escape route but trust, there was an escape route and I could see through it. So I called the Director of SSS to send me security officers to the pensions board to retrieve all the files so we could prepare fresh documents that would form the basis to pay those pensioners.

“As a result, my hope and determination to pay those pensioners before my 7th year anniversary was dashed. You see, I had the will, I had looked for the money but somebody in the Civil service compromised my intention by falsifying numbers. That is Civil Servants inhumanity to Civil Servants.

“We had to appoint a new audit firm and they have shown something that will shock you that in the Pensions Board, they prepared for 1 person, 2 pensions with 2 original documents. Same date of birth, same salary, everything same, but two original vouchers. So whereas the real man is old and dying, those that the government has put in place to prepare their pension are busy feasting on the lives of these senior citizens.

“We are disbanding the Pensions Board because they have lived on fraud. Now we are reviewing and re organizing even the ICT, clean it up and ensure we have responsible and competent people with character to man it.
“I believe and I am determined that before Christmas, not later than next week, we will do everything possible to commence the process of paying many of these pensioners whose records have been cleaned up.

“This is the reason I had to take the painful decision of relieving the former Head of Service of his job and in searching for replacement. I know a lady who had managed, easily the most difficult ministry and under whom we have sanitized the ministry of education.

“So I believe that Mrs. Idahor possesses not just the qualification and experience but also the boldness and I know that the service will be in very good hands.”

The Governor explained that his decision was taken to protect the interest of the Pensioners and Edo taxpayer and does not have any ethnic or religious coloration.
In her response, the new Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor said, “I want to appreciate the Comrade Governor for finding me worthy of this elevation to the position of Head of Service.

“I want to assure you sir, that the trust and confidence you have reposed in me by this elevation will not be betrayed.
“I’m not unaware of the challenges facing the Civil Service but I want to believe they are not insurmountable. I promise, with God helping me, to re-orientate, reinvigorate and re-organise the public Service for better performance realizing that the Civil service is the engine room of the government.”



Credit : Vanguard

Emir Of Kano Pays Courtesy Visit To Oshiomhole, Delighted Over His Performance As Governor

The Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II has expressed satisfaction with the performance of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, saying the Governor is doing well.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Governor in Government House, the Emir said “I am happy to see that the governor is doing well.”

According to him, “I have been following some of your recent comments on the minimum wage”, adding that the Governor has remained consistent to the ideals for which he is known.
He said “I am here this time on the occasion of the honour done to me by the President and the Federal Government of Nigeria in appointing me the Chancellor of the great University of Benin.
“Your Excellency, for me, it is a matter of deep pride to be associated with this city and this state and this particular university and I can assure you that we will do our very best to ensure that we bring as much development as we can and to further strengthen the excellent relationship between the people of Kano and the people of Edo.”
In his response, Governor Oshiomhole said he was honoured to receive the Emir at the Government House.
“As the Governor of this state, I still have very fond memories of your last visit to Edo State then as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and some of your products, your resourcefulness, some of your initiatives in the area of empowerment of rural people, providing micro-credits, supporting small scale and promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship at small and medium scale level are products that we are still trying to benefit from and each time people benefit from each of those products, we cannot but remember the very laudable legacies that your highness left behind as the CBN Governor.
He said: “I want to thank you for your support, thank you for your kind words and thank you for your prayers. We also want to congratulate your highness on your richly deserved appointment as the Chancellor of the University of Benin which we are all proud to describe as UNIBEST and I am sure under your leadership, it would witness even more growth and development and Edo as a community will continue to benefit from the activities of the university.
“I thank the President for his wise judgment in identifying you as the next Chancellor of the university. I know that everybody in the University of Benin is excited about your appointment for several reasons.
“Sir you are a Royal Father with an outstanding difference and when you speak, Nigerians listen and you have inspired many of us to find courage and not to allow the seeming comfort of our privileged positions to weaken our commitment to speak truth to power even if power is deaf and that truth can stand on its own, popular or not popular and that even privileged people should be ready to damn the consequences if that is what it will take to tell the truth so that our country survives.
“Each time you make those extremely informed commentaries on the state of the economy, not because you can’t afford to be quiet, many of us are encouraged to key in and to play our part and to encourage everyone to play his part in ensuring that we have an active citizenry that will ensure that government is accountable and that policies are informed by public welfare and to know the difference between when we should take hard decisions and when we should soften, provided that the ultimate objective is to ensure that the interest of the ordinary Nigerian is protected and that our national economy is the better for it.”


Credit : Vanguard

Edo Yet To Receive $75m World Bank Loan, Says Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo on Friday said the State was yet to receive the $75million World Bank loan recently approved for the state.


Oshiomhole disclosed this in Benin during a Colloquium organised by the State Government to round off activities marking its 7th year in office.


The governor said the clarification became necessary to instil confidence in the people that the state government’s ability to pay salaries up to date was not based on the loan, but on prudent management of resources.


He contended that it was not the business of government to do business.


“It is rather to create the enabling environment for citizens to make wealth so that government could collect taxes and develop the society.”


He noted that government and governance were not value-free, adding that the way forward was to focus on continued development of every sector of the economy.


He also said government would strategise to ensure that workers earned their pay and give government value for pay.


He disclosed that the government was thinking of reintroducing the dissolved Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) to help manage and control traffic in the state capital.


On aesthetics, the governor said the administration was looking at new approaches to ensure that sweeping of roads in the state capital becomes a permanent norm.


He said he recently approved money for the rebuilding and restoration of the water fountain at the Oba Ovoranmwen Square.


Earlier, Mr Austin Osakue, member of civil society group and discussant, called on the governor to carry out a staff audit of the workforce in the state.

He also said the government should embark on robust engagement of participatory system of governance.

He noted that the governor, since the inception of his administration, was yet to use up 30 per cent of his capacity to encourage participatory system of administration.


Osakue stressed that every sector of government should be included in a discussion that would ensure issues and challenges in the state were discussed with a view to finding a middle ground.


Mr Femi Falana (SAN) who moderated the discussion, said the forum was to x-ray the present administration as well as use the opportunity to cross fertilise ideas.


Credit : PM News

Oshiomhole is a liar, says Sylva

Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Thursday described the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as a liar and a mischievous person.

Sylva spoke in response to Oshiomhole’s claim that the former governor disrupted the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday.

The Edo governor had on Wednesday accused former governor of disrupting the Bayelsa APC primary and that the claim by Sylva that he won was a huge joke.

Oshiomhole had further alleged that Sylva’s thugs held him hostage for hours at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, venue of the APC primary.

But Sylva in a statement on Thursday by his Media Adviser, Doifie Buokoribo, said it was clear that Oshiomhole never intended to conduct the primary as scheduled.

The ex-governor’s statement was titled, “The lies and mischiefs of Oshiomhole.”

The statement read, “It is unfortunate that people like Adams Oshiomhole, the governor of Edo State and former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, who pretend to be incorruptible, would conduct himself in the manner in which he did in relation to the Bayelsa State governorship primary. It was clear that Oshiomhole never wanted to conduct the primary as scheduled

“First, on his request, the primary was shifted from its earlier date of Saturday, September 19 to the Tuesday, September 22 date. The grouse of the delegates was that the primary had been shifted once on Oshiomhole’s request. That shift caused enough hardship already. The ‘comrade’ was again shifting the goal post, without giving consideration to these hapless delegates. It was that frustration that we were managing. It is so sad that the governor did not appreciate our effort.

“Second, as chairman of the APC Electoral Committee, Oshiomhole knew full well that accreditation of delegates was to begin at 8am on Tuesday, September 22, but he came to the venue of the programme well past 12 noon. After he arrived at that late hour, he proceeded with a meeting with the committee members and another meeting with the aspirants. He clearly had preconceived plans about the Bayelsa APC governorship primary.”

Sylva said Oshiomhole could not really say anything about the primary election because he had left the venue at the time voting commenced.

He claimed that the Edo governor set the process in motion for voting to commence before he excused himself on the grounds that he was going to eat, and that he mandated other members of the committee to proceed without him.

He added, “The world needs to know that the Bayelsa State Electoral Committee is made up of seven members, and of the seven, only Oshiomhole left. The other six remained, conducted the primary and declared Sylva winner of the exercise.

“It borders on pettiness for Governor Oshiomhole to quote me as an antagonist to new entrants to our party. Every discussion I had with the governor was public. The only private conversation I had with him was when he walked up to me and asked me if I truly believed he was working against my interest. To that I answered ‘yes’. As a man of integrity (?) he even offered to step down as chairman. If he had stepped down would that have invalidated the primary? We should refrain from exaggerating our worth and integrity. Let other good people judge our character.

“After all, I was the one that received all new entrants. Oshiomhole was invited and he did not come.”

Sylva also said Oshiomhole came to Yenagoa with a clear agenda to get him out of the race at all costs. The former Bayelsa governor said he was aware that Oshiomhole had been lobbying at the centre to get him (Sylva) out of the race in order to pave the way for one of the aspirants.

He claimed that the unnamed aspirant had shortly before Oshiomhole’s arrival boasted openly that he would cancel the primary once he arrived.

He stressed, “Oshiomhole should not tell lies. If I was not there, contrary to his insinuation that I rented thugs to manhandle him, the crowd would have manhandled him. I personally accompanied Oshiomhole to the gate when he was going to eat.

“If Oshiomhole has anything personal against me, let him tell the world. We are shocked that the man who claims to be morally upright with a strong ethical orientation would land in Yenagoa for an exercise in which he ought to be an impartial arbiter with a helicopter provided by a friend of one of the aspirants.”

The Bayelsa APC primary on Tuesday had been marred by violence.

As early as 8am, armed thugs were seen at the entrance of the venue, hurling stones at the delegates who lined up to be screened for the exercise.

But the 1,300 security operatives at the venue eventually restored order.

Most of the delegates were shut out of the exercise and were not allowed access to the venue of the primary.

But when the accreditation of the delegates started, most persons who presented themselves for the exercise were said to be fake delegates in possession of cloned voter cards.


PDP Steals N100 from Every Litre of Kerosene – Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, accused the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government of duping Nigerians by selling kerosene N150 per litre instead of N50.

Oshiomhole, who said this while receiving defectors from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress in Benin, the Edo State capital, also said that Nigerians had been suffering since the PDP assumed power 16 years ago. This, he said, was because of the PDP’s dedication “to preserve the privileges of the few.”

Oshiomhole said the Federal Government had been doing this by not allowing the masses to enjoy the benefits of the natural resources bestowed on the country by God through shady subsidy deals on petroleum products.

Credit: Punch