596 dead Bauchi workers still receiving salaries – Panel
No fewer than 596 dead civil servants in Bauchi State have been on the government payroll, collecting salaries and allowances for years, the government’s panel has discovered.
The PUNCH had reported that the state government said it had identified over 41,448 on the government payroll without the compulsory Bank Verification Number.
The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, subsequently set up a 17-member panel to investigate the situation.
Speaking to journalists on Monday at a press conference on the activities of the committee, the Chairman of the panel, Adamu Gumba, disclosed that during the assignment, which took about three months, 4,578 people failed to appear before the committee to be verified.
He added that a total of 24,736 people, made up of state workers and local government workers as well as pensioners, had been verified and cleared by the committee and had started receiving their salaries and allowances.
Gumba said those that refused to appear before the committee “may have another chance to be verified by the implementation committee to be set up; but to me, they are suspects and everything must be done to identify them”.
The former Bauchi-South senator said if the entire 130,000 workers in the state and local governments as well as pensioners would be verified, ghost workers would be discovered because “if we can uncover ghost workers from the 30,226 verified, how much more will be discovered if the entire number was verified?”
He said those verified and cleared by the panel but had not received their three months salaries and allowances would be paid immediately, stressing that Governor Bala Mohammed had approved the immediate payment of the arrears of their salaries.
Gumba expressed the hope that whatever amount saved from the exercise would be used by the government to improve on the welfare of the state civil servants for optimum service delivery.
In a no distant future, he added, the embargo placed on recruitment of workers would be lifted to allow the recruitment of professionals to replace those who had retired.
He observed that “most MDAs are lacking professionals in service”.