Addressing a Dodoma Regional Consultative Council (RCC) meeting here, Ndugai singled out agricultural extension and community development officers as being among public servants who are doing very little to support government initiatives to bring development to the citizenry.
The speaker said although there are so many community development officers all over the country, their work performance and overall contribution to national development is almost zero.
On agricultural extension officers, he said they should lead by example, and run their own farms.
“It is high time that, as a nation, we keenly review the performances and contributions of these groups of public servants as we move towards an industrial economy,” he stated, describing them as no more effective than ghost workers recently expunged from the government payroll.
Ndugai’s position was supported by Chemba member of parliament Juma Nkamia (CCM), who said it is useless to have so many fully-empowered public servants who can’t deliver on government agendas.
“If I had the powers, I would scrap the position of agricultural officers, right from regional to village levels, since they are not doing anything,” Nkamia remarked amid laughter from the council members.
The legislator said agricultural officers hardly ever reach out to the farmers who need their services, but prefer to visit public animal markets to collect meat.
“They now call themselves agriculture and livestock officers, using that position to coax meat sellers to give them meat after doing a ‘health inspection’,” Nkamia claimed.
According to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG)’s report for 2015/16, agricultural production, productivity and profitability across the country have not shown significant improvement as intended under the extension service programme.
An official audit early this year uncovered a total of 19,708 ghost workers siphoning more than 19.8 billion/- per month in salaries from government coffers.
The then Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Angellah Kairuki, told the National Assembly in June that the government intended to introduce performance contracts for all civil servants in a bid to increase efficiency in public service.
“The government is determined to restore the public service image that has in the recent past been tainted by many irregularities,” Kairuki said.