Bello sacks Works commissioner

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Niger State Commissioner for Works Ibrahim Muhammad Panti has been sacked.

The Nation learnt that the commissioner attended the Executive Council meeting yesterday without an inkling of his impending sack.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mary Noel Berje, at 11 pm, on Wednesday did not explain why the sack.

The statement, which had the heading, “Niger State Government has carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle,” said Commissioner for Planning Alhaji Mamman Musa would take over as commissioner for Works and Infrastructure while Finance Commissioner Alhaji Zakari Abubakar would oversee Planning Commission in addition to the Finance Ministry.

A visit to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure at the State Secretariat in Minna showed that the workers were shocked at the sack.

Panti, last year, headed the Salary Management Committee mandated to screen civil servants.

The screening uncovered over 2,000 illegal workers and recovered several millions.

Panti said 603 persons posing as civil servants were yet to surface as the committee made its final submission.

He said the committee uncovered 2,764 different names using different banks with the same BVN being paid salaries.

Panti explained there were 191 pending cases while 477 workers could not produce their first employment letters and other documents.

However, The Nation learnt on Thursday Panti stepped on the toes of high profile individuals, who had been calling for his sack.

Some workers said they believed his removal was connected to issues unearthed during the civil servants screening.

“His removal is in connection to the screening. Some people are no longer comfortable with the way he went about the screening. He stepped on toes when he embarked on the screening. They are not comfortable with the information he now has”, a worker said.

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Another said: “He is the only person removed from the Exco. We worked with him and knew that he was very truthful and prudent. We think he is being sacked because of the outcome of the screening.”

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