The latest discovery by the Bauchi Government has seen a shocking number of ghost workers uncovered following the worker’s verification exercise which was carried out in January this year.
This was announced by the state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, at the government house during an interactive session with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bauchi State Council, on Sunday. He informed that as much as 6,065 ghost workers were under government payroll.
According to him, there were contradictions during the screening which resulted both from human mistakes and ‘deliberate sabotage’ by unknown force.
“During the exercise, we discovered 6,065 ghost workers on the payroll of the Bauchi State Government. This number could not be rated as small because even if you get 10 ghost workers, the exercise will be worth it as they would’ve been taking much money illegally.
“There were lapses during the exercise and they were continuous. Don’t forget, the forces that endangered this phenomenon of ghost workers are very strong forces. They have been entrenched over time and a lot of money is being siphoned out of the coffers of the government.
“Those forces will not fold their arms and allow us to put a stop to their activities; so they were fighting us all through. It is not as if it will happen today and stop tomorrow. They are creating all sorts of bottlenecks for the system and that is why I’m saying the verification is going to continue.”
The Government, recalled that the last round of workers’ verification was done using the public servants’ Bank Verification Number, and added that government would continue with the conduct of the exercise physically with various means devised for the MDAs heads to do it themselves.
“For instance in education, we have asked every principal and headmaster to write a list of all his/her members of staff and sign under, knowing full well that he/she is going to be responsible for that list. So, we have a basis to continue with the exercise.”
In review of the amount recovered so far from the past verification, Governor Abubakar said he can not disclose that due to the order placed by an Industrial Court against the account of the state government for the non-payment of the April 2016 works’ salaries.
He added that his government would embark on yet another round of workers’ verification to enable it to access the Federal Government’s budget support programme.
“So, verification is the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and it is also the policy of the Bauchi State Government, but I said we in Bauchi are going to do it differently.
“The verification is going to be routine; the heads of the MDAs will continue with the exercise as their responsibility.”