The existence of ghost workers in Bauchi civil service is not only crippling the system but denying thousands of unemployed graduates the opportunity to gain employment, the state governor, Bala Mohammed, has said.
Mr Mohammed, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, said his new government inherited an over-bloated workforce ”that only exists on paper”.
He said though the state battles to foot its monthly salary bills, ranging between N2.5 billion and N5 billion, ”the civil service is still, surprisingly, bereft of required manpower”.
Speaking on Wednesday, at the swearing-in of the new head of civil service, Abubakar Maaji, the Governor said the top officer must key into the prioritised agenda of his administration ”which is to unravel the mystery behind the unfathomed culprits masquerading as ghost workers”.
Last week the Muhammed administration announced the suspension of 41,000 civil servants, including permanent secretaries and directors who will also not collect their October salaries because they had no bank verification numbers (BVN).
PREMIUM TIMES’ checks discovered that Bauchi, a state with very low IGR, is said to have about 110,000 workers and retirees on its payroll.
The National Bureau of Statistics in its 2018 report published in May this year ranked Bauchi, the 25th on the IGR table. The North-east state generates a paltry N9.69 billion annually – which translates to about N800 million monthly.
Governor Mohammed insists the monthly bill of the state, is unacceptable especially ”when the numbers don’t tally with the workforce on the ground”.
He charged the new head of service to “fish out those collecting double salaries”.
“I must say here that the civil service has a lot of challenges that have been overloaded.”
He lamented that ‘there is a prevalence of suspicious of ghost workers. And of course, the integrity of that office is suspect now.
“You must be able to fish out those that have been collecting double salaries both at the state and local governments. We don’t have anything against anybody, but our salaries must be broad and with free resources so that we employ Bauchi State indigenes who have graduated, and our youth who are looking for work.
“It is unfair; it is immoral for people to be collecting triple salaries while we have our trained young ones who are all at home for the last for years and no single employment has been done for the last four years.
“Most of the cadres are degraded; the admin cadre is gone, the technical cadre is gone; our medical doctors are not being employed. We must build the cadre of succession, if training, and make sure that there are justice and equity,” an irate official said.
Earlier, Governor Mohammed urged the new head of service to sustain the tempo left behind by the former HOS, Nasir Yelwa, who retired recently.
The governor then drew the attention of the new head of service to the challenges ahead.
“You are not only to sustain the tempo recorded by your predecessor but to improve on them,” he said.
Governor Mohammed, also at the event, swore in a new commissioner of sports, Adamu Alhaji-Manu. Five other special advisers were also sworn in alongside four permanent secretaries.