Cross River Civil Servants Decry Chaotic Screening Exercise

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A screening exercise for civil servants in Cross River State, a sub-national entity in Nigeria’s south-south geopolitical zone, has come under intense scrutiny as participants express frustration and disappointment over what they describe as a disorganised and cumbersome process NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

The ongoing screening exercise, intended to verify the employment status and biometric details of civil servants, has triggered a wave of social media reactions. The sentiments shared by affected individuals highlight the challenges they face in attempting to complete the exercise smoothly.

Several individuals have decried the lack of proper organisation in the screening process. Ud Ofem, one of the participants, labeled the process as ‘total rubbish’ and criticised the lack of proper organisation and coordination. She highlighted the inconvenience caused by transferring participants from one center to another and lamented that the exercise disrupted official duties.

Cross River Civil Servants Decry Chaotic Screening Exercise (credit: Ud Ofem)

Her words, ‘This screening process is total rubbish. Organization, zero. For no reason at all, those of us in WAPI centre have been moved to MDI centre that is already congested. They are making people move up and down without a head way. And from the circular, today is supposed to be the mop up. Imagine this crowd here in this video and tell me how this exercise will end anytime soon at the detriment of official duties. An exercise that should be carried out seamlessly and concurrently with office work but official duties have been put to a halt because of common biometrics capturing.’

Ofem’s sentiment was echoed by Komomo Usang, who recounted witnessing two women fainting due to the overcrowding at the screening venue in Akamkpa.

In a series of posts, participants highlighted the absence of proper seating arrangements, leading to exhaustion and frustration. Antan Esor Okor suggested a solution by providing chairs for people to sit and assigning them numbers to ease the process.

While some participants questioned the competence of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) office in handling the screening process, others criticised the lack of collaboration between government departments. Monic Tilley Gyado-Eneji pointed out that the Office of the Head of Service (HOS) has traditionally handled such exercises effortlessly, emphasising the need for synergy in governance: ‘I don’t know what SSG has to do with staff auditing. Office of the Head of Service has always done this exercise effortlessly. See all the confusion. There’ll be lots of errors trust me.’

As emotions ran high, Ofem expressed her dissatisfaction with the screening exercise, arguing that the disorganisation reflected a failure on the part of the government. She highlighted the need for accountability and improvements in the process.

Tom Alims shared his wife’s experience, revealing that she had to go through the same screening process multiple times, leading to unnecessary delays and inconveniences. Kennedy Nsan, however, raised the question of solutions, stating that the complainants were voicing their concerns without offering alternative approaches.

While the frustration of the affected civil servants was palpable, some individuals like Kandy Obi Umoh injected a note of humor into the conversation. Others, like Iyaiya Thomas, expressed their disappointment in the government’s lack of planning, while Peter Ogar offered a suggestion of a more efficient decentralised screening process.

The screening exercise in Cross River State has underscored the importance of efficient and well-organized government processes. The reactions from participants shed light on the challenges faced by civil servants and the need for transparent and effective administrative procedures. As the conversation continues online, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the concerns raised by its citizens.