Over 5,337 council staff were retrenched by Chairmen of 19 out of the 21 local government areas in Kogi state between May, 2013 and September, this year.
Kogi House of Assembly ad-hoc committee constituted in November, 2013 to investigate massive retrenchment in the councils revealed this, in its report to the House at plenary yesterday, in Lokoja.
Chairman of the 11-member ad-hoc committee, Alhaji Suleiman Babadoko who presented the report said additional 27 council staff retired from service during the period.
He added that, apart from Lokoja and Kogi-KK Local that did not retrench their staff, the rest 19 councils laid-off their staff.
Peoples Daily reports that the 21 local councils in the state now have a total of 24,671 from their 30,035 workforce, having laid-off 5,337 as 27 retired.
Babadoko said that, though the council chairmen claimed to have embarked on the retrenchment exercise following dwindling allocations from the Federation Account and over-bloated wage bills, the Local Government Service Commission claimed ignorance of the retrenchment.
He said that the committee also discovered that with the exception of Lokoja Local Government, councils in the state were indebted to their staff over percentage payment of salaries between May, 2013 and May, 2014.
The legislator noted that though the councils claimed that the retrenchment was carried out on the basis of lack of genuine certificates, fake letters of appointments and other anomalies, several staff with genuine employment records were laid-off.
The committee, therefore, recommended that any genuinely employed staff on the retrenchment list, especially those with Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) appointment letters should be recalled and paid accordingly.
The House directed all affected staff with evidence of genuine employment to approach it for references and necessary action to be taken by the relevant council chairmen.
The committee also suggested that embargo should be placed on employment to enable the councils stabilize and clear the backlog of salary arrears in their various councils as it urged the LGSC to take note and avoid complications.