Ex-PDP Scribe Urges Purge Of State Civil Service

A former secretary of the Delta State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Young Afighi, has advised the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to purge the state civil service of “dead woods“.
Afighi told our correspondent in an interview that the measure was necessary not only to inject fresh blood into the service but also as a way of tackling youth unemployment in the state.
The dead woods, according to him, are civil servants who have crossed the retirement age of 60 years but keep doctoring their age declaration records to remain in service.
He said; “The people’s expectations from the present administration in the state are very high. One thing Okowa should take as a priority is youth employment.
“One good step in this regard is the conduct of a thorough staff audit in the state civil service to identify officers who have crossed the stipulated retirement age of 60 years but are still in service due to manipulation of their age declaration records.
“I will also suggest that If possible, people who have served for some considerable number of years and are no longer productive should be laid off to pave way for the younger ones to get employment.
“Youth unemployment is a major challenge in the state, and it is wrong for the young ones to be at home while the aged are working when they should be on retirement.”
Afighi, a retired secondary school principal and former PDP state publicity secretary, also advised Okowa to revamp the educational sector, which he said was in shambles.
He stated that public and private primary and secondary schools in the state were not performing, noting that there were also a lot of dead woods in the state educational sector.
“The state schools are not performing. Many of the so-called private schools are nothing but money making machines; business centres.
“The inspectorate division of the state Ministry of Education is not working, and I wonder if they even have one because their impact is not felt anywhere in the system.
“When you get to some private schools they are in terrible shape. Even the ones with good structures, what goes into them is another thing.
“When you talk about education, the inspectorate division is very important. Without it, nothing happens.
“This is why there are a lot of dead woods in the teaching profession; teachers who know next to nothing.
“The so-called teachers produced by the teacher training colleges or universities are not teachers; they are cheaters”, he said.
Afighi suggested that government should tackle the rot from the root by focusing on primary education, and if possible stop private sector involvement in that foundational level.
“I will recommend that primary education should be taken seriously and government should focus more on that area because that is where the foundation is laid.
“If you lay a good foundation the house will stand. If you make mistakes at the foundational level, they are hard to correct except you bring down the house and rebuild. You can imagine the cost of doing that especially when it concerns human beings.

“So, government should strictly handle primary education and allow the private sector to get involved in the secondary and tertiary levels,” he added.

Another area the Okowa administration should look at, according to Afighi, is the reduction in the cost governance through elimination of wastages.

The former Chairman of Ethiope West Local Government Council knocked the immediate past administration in the state of wasting public resources on some projects that “added no value to the people’s living condition”.

He said; “The last administration did some wastages. Imagine the giant screens it erected in some parts of the state some time ago, where are they today?

“Another big wastage is on the road from Effurun to Ughelli. The wide space between the dual carriageways from Effurun to DSC area is paved with interlocking tiles. For what purpose? For me, it’s a big waste.”

However, he expressed confidence in the ability of Okowa to meet those expectations “judging by his wealth or experience and commitment to good governance”.