By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Secretary to the Bauchi State Government, Muhammad Sabi’u Baba has cried out that the state government cannot continue to pay people who do not deserve to be paid salaries and wages.
He attributed the huge expenditure on payment of salaries and wages to more than 15 different salary structures in the state to the machinations of past governments that allowed indiscriminate payments.
“The earlier system for payment of salaries and wages in Bauchi has been compromised, what I mean by that is there is collusion between the beneficiaries and staff to the extent that the software we have been using has been opened to manipulations”, Baba said.
He was speaking while contributing to a report presentation to the press of a committee set up last month by the state government to examine negative tendencies surrounding the payment of salaries and wages to civil servants and retirees in the state.
Baba stated, “The intention is to have a payroll where the state is not short-changed. Actually, we are all worried about the fact that over 90 percent of monies that comes to the state goes into the payment of salaries”.
He explained that after salaries taking over 90% of the accruable revenues, the state government still need to do other things in running its activities such as it relates to hospitals, schools and other social services, all being dedicated to the balance of less than 10 percent.
More of worrisome, the Bauchi chief scribe said, for the Local Government Councils to pay salaries, they have to take overdrafts, which situation he argued, is definitely unacceptable to the state government.
Alhaji Sabi’u Baba assured that the state government is doing its best to address the hues and cries on ghost workers in the state payroll, stressing “Since this committee started its assignment, it has gathered a lot of evidences of ghost workers and malpractices in the system”.
Baba also expressed regret that the earlier system for payment of salaries and wages in Bauchi state has been compromised with beneficiaries and staff in self-aggrandized collusion to milk the state dry.
The SSG said, “Therefore you cannot place any reliability in the system> in addition, past administrations have done a number of things that one may not consider healthy to the state”.
“Different groups will go to say I’m a special group, I shall be paid special allowances for this and that and approval will be given. And as we do that gradually you find that you have approved so many of these new groups, and you don’t have one standard saving system”, he added.
He summed it up thus, “At the end of the day, there will continue to be complaints, somebody will tell you that group is not better than our own, and the complaints will never end, so it is the intention of the present administration to have a standard salary structure”.
Alhaji Muhammad Sabi’u Baba therefore stressed the need for the committee to sit and sort out issues at stake with a view to moving the state forward.