Skillful Rise In Bauchi Salary Bill Worries Governor Mohammed
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed has expressed worrisome that Bauchi State salary bill combined has between 2015 to 2020 has exponentially risen from N4. 5 billion.
He however regrettably noted that the skillfully rise in the state salary bill is coming on the wheel of non-employment coupled with retirement of hundreds of civil servants with others even passed away.
“We have not employed. Even though some Civil Servants have retired or passed on, we continue to experience exponential rise in our salary bill”, the governor remarked.
Senator Bala Mohammed was Thursday addressing the opening session of the first ever ‘Public Media Parley with Stakeholders On Challenges of Salary Payment and Issues of Nominal/Payrolls held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi.
He attributed the surreptitious jump in the Bauchi salary bill to payroll fraud, lack of MDAs nominal rolls in the Office of Head of Service, lack of payroll fraud mechanism, ghost workers, civil servants falsifying allowances and other fraudulent activities in the system.
The combined anomalies, the governor observed, have frozen employment thereby creating a huge vacuum in the service delivery as well as generation gap in the State Service, coupled with breeding social immoralities in the state.
It is for this reason, he said, that his administration employed global best practice by engaging the services of a financial management consultant, the DYNATECH to sort out the mess, where his predecessors failed.
Governor Bala Mohammed linked the failure of his predecessors in this regard to either lack of courage, political will or frustration by beneficiaries of the organized financial criminality. either lack of the courage, political will or frustration by the beneficiaries of this organized financial criminality.
The Governor described the situation as one from nowhere, either within the state or outside, one can easily be a pensioner, get paid regularly without ever working and can even earn arrears in payment.
Mohammed explained that he was moved by his campaign promise to workers to sort out the mess associated with salaries payment to have embarked on this tortious journey of cleansing the system, saying state civil servants have hitherto suffered from systematic attrition bastardized by fraudulent practices and outright corruption.
Preliminary report of the DYNATECH saw the removal 1,279 staff from Health ministry payroll, 100 of them ghost doctors; 1, 111 from education ministry with inconsistencies between nominal and payrolls, with discrepancies in TSC personnel employment records whose numbers and names would if necessary be made public at the end of the exercise.
Survey of 33, 000 SUBEB staff, other agencies under education will follow the same exercise pattern as that of the ministry, while class attendance of 23, 000 excluding those on leave will all have their records perfected no matter the odds, said the governor.
Governor Bala Mohammed categorically stated that the parley is not to malign any person or group of persons, ridicule or blackmail anyone or either with-hunt, but rather as a responsible government provide a platform of consensus.
He positioned, “It is built on how to protect our commonwealth from a corrupt and decadent cartel that seems determined to enjoy illegal salaries while our workers and citizens sink deeper into abject poverty”.
The Governor therefore stressed the need to identify, name and prosecute perpetrators of the dastardly acts and if found guilty, jail them with a view to recover the loot from them and their collaborators, saying ‘Anything short of this will mean surrendering our future and generations yet unborn’.
He appealed for the cooperation of all civil servants to join this crusade of freeing resources in order to employ young citizens into the state service, address critical issues of infrastructure and services, as well as have a dependable and credible database to the greater glory of workers for the benefit of generality of citizens.
“We will utilize the outcome of this parley by factoring your contributions on the way out of this mess. No one, I repeat, no one under my watch will be molested or witch-hunted for his or her contributions. You are equally free to write the Government and address your letters to the Secretary to the State Government if you are listening on the Radio”.
The public, media, stakeholders parley was among others graced by captains of political parties, respected technocrats, notable elders, financial experts, organised labour as well as private sector and every citizen to discuss the way forward.