The Gombe State Government says it has uncovered 431 ghost workers and suspended them from its payroll system for the month of May.
This was disclosed by the Committee for the Integrated Payroll Payent Gateway and Human Resource Management Information System (IPPGHMIS)
Briefing journalists on the development, the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Muhammad Magaji, also disclosed that another 691 staff are billed for investigation due to insufficient attendance as indicated by the biometric data capture machine.
The commissioner explained that from the 431 ghost staff, mostly from the health sector, the state was able to make savings of about N27 million.
He said the government withheld about N62 million from the 691 staff from the health sector and are billed for investigation for insufficient attendance.
He equally revealed that based on the earlier directive issued by the government for workers on grade levels 1‐12 to work from home as part of measures against COVID-19, a total of 244 staff with a total salary strength of about N7 million were also captured by the biometric to indicate transparency and accountability.
For the local government areas, the commissioner said 45 staff of Kwami local government have been suspended from the payroll of the council, thereby saving a total of N700,000.
He added that another four staff from same local council have also been sanctioned for ‘incomplete enrollment’.
The official said the exercise was basically meant to check fraud in the civil service and not intended to witchhunt anyone.
“The exercise will help government ascertain the vacuum in the state’s civil service for immediate recruitment from the teeming jobless youths in the state,” he said.
Speaking earlier, chairman of the committee, Bappayo Yahaya, advised civil servants in the state not to treat the biometric data capture exercise with disdain so that they will not have themselves to blame.
The chairman who is also the Head of Civil Service, stressed that the current administration is determined to work with only genuine civil servants who are committed to the growth and development of the system and the state.
“This exercise is not intended at targeting any civil servant for witchhunt, rather it focuses on strengthening the system for efficiency and effectiveness.
The Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Bappayo Abdulmumini, said NLC was fully in support of the biometric data capture exercise to checkmate civil servants who are in the habit of not showing up for work.
He said so far no civil servant had approached the congress with any complaint over his or her suspension from payroll, which he said is a pointer that workers suspended in the exercise are really guilty of their crime.
He said the congress had been part of the committee membership since the commencement of the biometric exercise and was therefore committed to ensuring justice was done to workers in the state.
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