Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has urged principals of public secondary schools to be morally upright and shun fraudulent practices in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking during an interactive session with principals of the state public secondary schools [11-03-16] in Asaba, Governor Okowa said that for a person to have risen to the position of a school principal, such an individual should be a person of integrity and should not connive in any fraudulent activity.
“As heads of the schools, principals would be held liable for any fraudulent activity discovered in their schools”. Governor Okowa stressed.
“A principal is a position of authority and integrity and we should care about our conduct, as principals you should know the staff in your schools, from investigations done within the last one week in the Asaba and Agbor Zones, we discovered that there are over 28 strange names, 38 dead, 15 retired teachers and some absconded ones in the payroll of some schools in the zones, who were still collecting salaries. I know that no principal will claim not to be aware of such names in their schools yet they allow government to pay such salaries, this is fraudulent, the level of connivance is high for the names to still be in the payroll” he said
“Principals should know when persons are out if the system through retirement and death and pass such information to the relevant authority, if you continue to give returns with such persons in your nominal rolls, it is fraudulent and criminal for somebody that die as far back as 2012 to still be in the payroll, I want to assure you that every such fraudulent cases discovered will be appropriately dealt with and handed over to security agencies for prosecution”, he added.
While decrying the level of fraudulent activities in the school system, Governor Okowa called for the support and cooperation of the principals to root out this malaise in our schools explaining that the state could not afford to allow such in the face of dwindling resources.
Senator Okowa directed the principals to submit their nominal roll containing the names of their staff, especially names of those who are dead, retired or absconded but are in the payroll to the Office of Head of Service with an attestation on the genuineness of the list.
While disclosing that an investigative team would be set up to cross check the nominal roll and returns from the principals, the governor also stated that appointment in the principal cadre in the state would now be based on seniority so as to rectify all perceived abnormalities in the teaching service.
Earlier in a welcome address, The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie said that the purpose of the meeting was for the governor to address certain issues affecting the education sector and ensure that School principals live up to expectation in the discharged of their duties.