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By Otori Ozigi
It has been discovered that most teachers in Kogi State have suddenly opened their eyes on how to get rich quick beyond their dreams, through sharp practices, without waiting any longer for their rewards in heaven, and this is authoritative.
After painstaking investigations, it has been finally established that there are massive and rampant cases of fake certificates, being paraded by thousands of primary school teachers in Kogi State payroll through SUBEB.
This was part of the stunning revelations contained in a comprehensive report submitted to the immediate past Governor Capt. Idris Wada by the Interim Management Committee that was inaugurated on 12th May, 2014 to oversee the affairs of SUBEB, sequel to copious petitions that SUBEB had become a cesspool of unbridled corruption and poor leadership style of the former chairman of the board. The report also revealed that there are no fewer than 900 fake Schools and hundreds of fake teachers in all the 21 Local Government Education Areas of the State.
A copy of the report exclusively obtained by this independent online journalist last week, stated that this unwholesome development have been discovered to be causing grievous damages to the future of school children in the state.
According to the report, there are rampant cases of fake certificate in most LGEAs especially NCE Certificates, purportedly obtained from NITT and college of educations.
It was discovered also that during the extensive investigations, that a good number of teachers in the state could not speak good English, even at very senior level. To arrest this ugly development, the report recommended that teachers should be promoted based on examination and interview.
In the same vein, the state government has been urged to urgently set up a high powered committee to carry out verification of school teachers in the state because of the menace of fake teachers that have found their ways into the system.
This report which was never implemented by the then governor Captain Idris Wada before the end of his tenure, also suggested that all qualified teachers posted to LGEAs head offices should be transferred back to the field immediately, to solve the challenges of gross under staffing being experienced in many school across the state. It was recommended that failure of such teachers to go back to the class room should result in compulsory retirement.
In the same vein, all those teachers without original NCE certificates or letters of attestation from such schools, should be laid off immediately. The report also recommend, the need for adequate supervision of schools and LGEAs by members of SUBEB.
The committee furthered discovered that several teachers in LGEAs pay rolls were found to be working else where i.e Civil Defense Corps in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
It was also discovered that most educational secretaries including sectional heads in LGEAs were allegedly fraudulent, as they issue and backdated several new employment letters as conduit pipe to defraud the state running into millions of naira.
The state government was also advised to flush out all fake teachers that found their ways into the pay roll through the educational secretaries and their collaborators.
There were also rampant cases of dead teachers being replaced by the educational secretaries without consultation with SUBEB, while some head teachers and sectional heads were discovered to have inserted fresh names in their pay rolls through which they were defrauding the state government of millions of naira monthly.
Another shocking discovery by the committee were cases where letters of appointment of some teachers had been backdated in other to escape 2010 embargo on state government policy.
Meanwhile, one of the key components of the change agenda of Alh. Yahaya Bello led administration is the total war on corruption and other financial crimes which he had sworn to pursue with all seriousness during his tenure in office.
– Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist, writes from Lokoja.