An end may now be in sight after about 2 years of battling to correct the irregularities that have bedevilled payment of salaries of civil servants and pensioners in Bauchi State as the government has declared that it has uncovered and subsequently removed names of a total of 1,115 ghost workers as well as another 6334 illegal workers from both the state and LG workforce from its payroll and saved a total of N763,792,664 in the process.
The government also disclosed that the total number of personnel now uploaded on the employees’ enrolment portal for both the state and local governments are: state service 29,752; local government service, 50,484 making a total of 80,236 workers in the state as it is now.
The disclosure was made by Sen Baba Tela who was chairman of a high powered panel set up by Governor Bala Mohammed on March 23rd, 2021, to find a lasting solution to the challenges of salary payment in the Bauchi State public service.
Baba Tela, who is the state deputy governor submitted the report of the panel to the governor at a brief ceremony held at the Bauchi State Government House, on Thursday, disclosing that the report was made up of three volumes with the main report being volume 1, executive summary as volume 2 while appendixes are volume 3.
He further explained that in course of its assignment, the committee interfaced with all the 76 ministries, departments and agencies and all the 20 local government councils in the state in order to ensure fairness to all those involved as well as have a comprehensive outcome.
He, however, explained that a total of 7,141 employees/pensioners identified during the exercise were considered as illegal employees noting that on the category of people, the sum of N511,270,138 was the monthly savings is to be realised.
Baba Tela then said that: “The total employees (ghost workers) removed from the payroll in the state salaries are 865 with N615,783,962 was saved while 113 were removed from the local government salaries and N61,013,892 was saved.
“In the state pension, 46 were removed with N25,090,155 was saved while at the local government pension, 91 were removed and N61,904,654 was saved saying, “In total, we removed 1,115 employees from our payroll and we saved N763,792,664.”
Baba Tela also said that “a total number of 7,141 employees/pensioners identified during the exercise were considered as illegal noting that N511,270,138 total savings are to be realised monthly.”
He explained that in the state salary, 2,725 illegal employees were identified and N319,417,454 will be saved adding that in the local government salaries, 2704 employees were identified with N116,020,941 saved.
He further said that in the state pension, 905 pensioners were identified with N63,902,968 saved while at the local government pension level, 807 were identified and N11,928,775 was saved.
“Your Excellency, the total amount of salary warehoused that could be paid to the 1,780 cleared employees/pensioners of both state and local government is N489,895,991,” he said.
According to him, for the sustainability of maintaining a credible nominal roll and clean payroll, the panel recommended that there should be a continuation of the qualitative analysis of the nominal roll data uploaded by the consultant.
He said that the panel also recommended the deployment of payment solution and Human Resources Management Information System by the consultant, upgrade of supportive ICT infrastructure, among other recommendations.
In his speech shortly after receiving the report, Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, said that the setting up of the panel was to bring a lasting solution to the problems facing the payment of salaries and pensions in the state.
He said that: “It was as a result of the disturbing irregularities and malfeasance associated with the payment of salaries in the State public service which we inherited from the previous Administration.”
The governor added that, “The appointment of the deputy governor as the chairman of the high powered committee, with the secretary to the state government and other top functionaries of the government as members, underscored the irrevocable commitment of our government to sanitise the payment of salaries and pensions in the state public service.”
Bala Mohammed further said that “Reliable reports from various sources have revealed the involvement of some unscrupulous elements who have either organized or actively participated in the shady administration of salaries and pensions in the state.”