The Niger State Government has revealed that 80 per cent of the staff of the State Ministry for Education is allegedly working with forged certificates from the state-owned College of Education, COE, Minna.
This development came to public glare, due to the ongoing screening of all staff of the state workforce.
The screening committee during the exercise discovered that 80 per cent staff of the ministry have been working over the years with fake certificates obtained from the state-owned College of Education, COE.
It was gathered that the mastermind of the certificate racketeering of the COE has been nabbed, the State Police Command over the issue.
Reacting, the Chairman of the Screening Committee and state Commissioner for Works, Engineer Ibrahim Mohammed Panti, told journalists in Minna that the five members of staff of COE fingered in the forged certificates scandal have offered useful information to the Police as investigations were on to unravelling more on the issue.
He said, ” The suspected printer had admitted during interrogation that he had printed and sold out an unspecified number of such fake Certificates to many students which they have used and still using to secure employment within the state and at the federal level..”
The Commissioner stated that most of the culprits in the fake certificates scam could neither write their names correctly nor communicate in simple English language.
He also disclosed that all the culprits have already been sacked and will be replaced as soon as possible with those having genuine Certificates.
“All the vacancies are going to be filled with people with genuine Certificates.
“The essence of the Screening is to determine the actual staff strength of our workers and block all wastages through over bloated salaries,” Panti said.
The chairman further revealed that the Committee members have received several threats from some faceless persons suspected to be part of those involved, warning, “we will not be deterred in concluding the assignment given to us by the state government.”