By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
A 71-year-old is among the 8, 211 ghost workers Bauchi State government fished out from its nominal and pay-rolls, from which is saved the sum of N1 billion, Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Ibrahim Mohammed Kassim revealed.
He gave the variations of the state monthly wage bill at the inception of the administration and now as N6.7 billion to N5.7 billion, giving a breakdown of N3.5bn to N2.8bn for the state government while for the 20 local governments in the state fall from N3.2bn to N2.9 billion.
Barrister Ibrahim Kassim at a press briefing in Bauchi Monday, similarly gave the number of the workforce as from 32, 000 to 28, 789 for the state while that of the twenty local governments stood at 48, 000 from a number of 53, 000, thus putting the figure of ghost workers to 8, 211
Kassim who heads the white paper implementation committee expressed concern at a situation where a 71 years-old civil servant was found collecting monthly salaries when he was supposed to have been retired at the age of 60 years or 35 years of active service whichever comes first.
Kassim however expressed delight that issues/problems pertaining to salaries payments of state civil servants would from July, 2022 ending ceased to exist when MDAs would be saddled with the payment of their staff salaries.
He expressed worrisome that the Senator Bala led administration in the state inherited a salary payment system that has been debased and abused for almost four decades with a huge wage bill that is growing by the day, despite the service being occasioned by retirements, deaths and so forth.
“The Office of the Head of Service now has the control of nominal roll, meaning an era where heads of MDAs can employ staff without recourse to the head of service has passed and done with. It is the responsibility of office of HOS to employ, deploy, discipline, promote and even fire a civil servant”.
“The syndrome of ghost workers in the local governments, and placing names after people have died or retired is no more. Local government personnel are now trained and empowered to be paying in their salaries. As of today, the local governments have no single case of anybody who is not being paid his/her salary”.
He said that Bauchi is proud to say that the state under the dynamic leadership is one of the few states in the federation without let or hindrance, adding “At the last Eid-el fitr, Bauchi is the only state in the federation that paid salaries of workers before Sallah”.
The SSG disclosed that the state government has resolved to establish complaint desk in every MDA with each establishing unique number complaint lodging tickets which would determine whether or not one is a genuine or ghost worker.
He explained that some workers were laid-off because they were not employees of the government, some have over stayed, some don’t have the qualification they claimed, while some were found to be over-aged, hence the system let them out because it is dealing with technology.
Barrister Ibrahim Kassim assured, “We are putting it on record today that anybody who has any case of not being paid his/her salary should go and report to his MDAs, he would be given a ticket, his name will be taken and the matter will be resolved immediately”.
Kassim similarly gave some challenges of the exercise which included over capacity of some MDAs while some staff handling salaries are computer illiterates, and emphasized the need for regular training and re-training until each and every worker of the state become computer literate.
He said however to hell for those who want to score a political gain because the system has been messed-up during their watch and they don’t want the present government to claim the credit as “We are standing firm and telling the world that we are claiming the credit because we cleared the mess off and brought sanity into the system.