Nigeria federal civil servants to undergo compulsory certificates screening

All civil servants on the Nigerian federal government payroll are to undergo compulsory verification and revalidation of their credentials and service records.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, directed officials handling the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System to undertake the exercise.

The exercise, Mr. Kifasi said in a circular issued by the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in his office, Amina Shamaki, that screening should cover the verification and revalidation of vital documents belonging to all workers in the core Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The Head of Service said staff of all Federal Government agencies in outstations in all the states of the federation would be screened in collaboration with other IPPIS stakeholders.

The exercise, which is in its second phase, would begin in Abuja from Monday, May 11 to May 22, 2015, and May 18 to 22, 2015 in the North-East and North Central zones.

When the exercise is concluded, Mr. Kifasi said it would provide a centralised database for the Nigerian Public Service with a single, accurate source of employee information that would aid government’s manpower planning and decision making.

The Nigerian government’s decision to screen its workers came about two months after PREMIUM TIMES exposed a case of certificate forgery involving a staff of the National Broadcasting Commission, Caroline Animan.

Ms. Animan, a confidential secretary at NBC, said to have been an employee of the Commission for over 20 years, presented a forged National Diploma certificate in Secretarial Studies purportedly issued by Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State (formerly Ogun State Polytechnic).
But the institution eventually confirmed the “certificate” presented by Ms. Animan (formerly Carolene U. Umelue) as fake, following an official investigation and document verification by the NBC.

The Principal Assistant Registrar (Exams and Records) of the Polytechnic, Olusegun Ogunpola, through a letter titled: “Re: Request for Document Verification: Carolene U. Umelue” dated June 23, 2014 categorically said the certificate was fake.

Subsequently, the NBC official saddled with the responsibility of verifying the document presented by Ms. Animan submitted a report titled “Re: Report On Document Verification: Statement Of Result Presented By Caroline Animan (Mrs)” to the Director General of the NBC through the Zonal Director, Ibadan Zone, on June 24, 2014.

The report indicted Ms. Animan and recommended she be ultimately dismissed after facing appropriate disciplinary committee, in line with Public Service Rule. It attached the letter from the Polytechnic and the forged certificate marked “fake” by Mr. Ogunpola of the Exams and Records of the institution.

Ms. Animan was investigated following noticeable poor work output.
Nigeria’s public service rule considers the presentation of forged credentials a case of gross (serious) misconduct for which erring officials should be punished with dismissal, once the allegations are proven. 

It is uncertain at this time whether the NBC has taken disciplinary action against Ms. Animan, although insiders in the Commission suggested she has been suspended from duties.

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