By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi state has said that his government will embark on yet another round of staff verification to enable it access the Federal government’s budget support programme.
“So verification is the policy of the Federal government of Nigeria and it is also the policy of the Bauchi state government, but I said we in Bauchi are going to do it differently”, he said.
He explained that the state government will not stop payment of salaries while it continues with the verification of workers, stressing however that the exercise is not going to be a special occasion anymore in which a committee will be set up to go round the MDAs.
Abubakar, who was speaking during an interactive session with journalists in Bauchi said “The verification is going to be routine, the heads of the MDAs will continue with the exercise as his/her responsibility”.
The Governor noted that though there are lapses in the last rounds of verification exercise in the state, the 6,065 figure discovered of ghost workers could not be rated as small because even if only ten ghosts were discovered the exercise is worth it as they will be taking money illegally.
“The lapses were continuous, don’t forget the forces that endangered this phenomenon of ghost workers are very strong forces, they have been entrenched over time and a lot of money is being siphoned out of coffers of the government”, he remarked.
He added, “Those forces will not fold their arms and allow us to put a stop to their activities, so they were fighting us all through, it is not as if it will happen today and stop tomorrow, they are creating all sorts of bottlenecks for the system and that is why I’m saying the verification is going to continue”.
Abubakar, while recalling that the last round of staff verification was based on BVN, said the government will continue with conduct of the exercise physically with various means devised for the MDAs heads to do it themselves.
“For instance in education, we have asked every principal and headmaster to write a list of all his/her staff and sign under, knowing fully that he/she is going to be responsible for that list, so we have basis to continue with the exercise”, he stated.
Governor Abubakar, who could not disclosed the amount so far saved from the past verification exercise attributed the inability to the order placed by an Industrial Court against the account of the state government which halted the payment of April 2016 workers’ salaries.
Abubakar admitted that there are two set of errors in the last verification rounds, some are human which he apologized for, and for the deliberate ones as act of sabotage, government is proceeding against those staff administratively and others for crimes they have committed.
FG budget support: BASG to sustain workers verification
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi