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If justice is to prevail, one can not point an accusing finger to the citizens of Bauchi State who have been registering their discontent and throwing a barrage of questions to the State Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed, seeking for clarification on why the huge increase on the Bauchi State wage bill and why are the salaries of some workers not paid as at when due? Those who think to seek clarification on issues of this nature is a crime, know nothing about the Constitution because every citizen is entitled to ask questions on any public issue, except for classified matters, as by law established.
For a couple of months ago, there have been concerns by the Bauchi State citizens, especially civil servants, as regards the hitches that result in a delay in the payment of some workers’ salaries in the State. For the fact that Bauchi State is a civil service state, the problem appears to be the greatest concern of the people these days, and the opponents of the PDP led administration take that to their advantage by crashing in, posing questions to the Government in power as to why the delay? and why despite death, retirement, and record of no employment, there has been an exponential rise in the wage bill from N4.5 billion to N7billion?
In order to address the challenges on the issue, Governor Bala Mohammed on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 hosted a Media Parley with civil servants, labor leaders, Government officials, elder statesmen, stakeholders, and the Media where massive corruption in the system was exposed.
On the issue of exponential rise on the wage bill, a financial consulting firm, DYNATECH Solutions Limited, contracted by the Bauchi State Government to sanitize its payroll and nominal roll had revealed that ghost pensioners have been paid over N700 million within one year.
While addressing the government, DYNATECH said the sum of N744,000,000 has been siphoned out of the state treasury.
“Some of these pensioners are not the beneficiaries of the money. There are inexistence accounts of inexistence banks. One of the pensioners was supposed to be paid N34,000 but received over N1,500,000. Another one who was supposed to be paid N50,000 but got over one million. All these accumulated to over N700million.”
This fraud in civil service is something that gives me sleepless nights. Buy Watching this particular parley, listening to DYNATECH making such a disheartening revelation is one of the terrible experiences I have ever had. I didn’t know when I was engulfed by raw, unadulterated pain, thinking about how the State’s Governor, Bala Mohammed is taking bold steps to sanitize civil service and block all leakages, other ungodly and unpatriotic people are sabotaging his efforts. At the time when the global economy is being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and governments all over are coping to cushion the effect and Bauchi State is not an exception, these people failed to have the conscience to be brave enough to unleash their cruelty on the resources of the poor masses.
And while these fraudulent people, whom I describe demons in human structure, are benefiting illegally from this organized financial scam, the Governor is unjustifiably being criticized for being seen at the fault and the civil servants are inflicted difficulty. This is, indeed, more than double jeopardy.
On the issue of salaries, believing that he is not responsible for the delay, Governor Bala Mohammed who confessed that salaries, not something that he should be praised when he pays, confidently made it clear, without a guilty conscience, that he pays salaries 100 percent every month.
“I’m paying salaries on the wage bill 100 percent every month. I have never kept a Kobo aside. It’s when salaries are paid any other work can be done; infrastructure and services are secondary to salaries.”
This statement by the Governor is hard to believe because it is obvious that some genuine workers are not paid salaries for a couple of months. You need not bother, Governor Bala had agreed and taken into consideration their grievances. He said:
“I want the issues raised by the labor to be looked into by this ministerial committee. Those who are supposed to be paid must be paid. There is enough money to in the system to pay salaries but, if the monies that we have are all taken away, then, we have a problem.
As a civil servant, I believe Bauchi is a civil service state, so service and labor must have integrity. I have the assurances of the committee I have set up and the consultant may be at the end of the month these issues will be minimally reduced or completely eliminated. The welfare of the workers must be protected, the salaries must be paid, the wages must be paid.”
For Governor Bala to have held such an opened to all parley, entertained questions with cogent fact and figures, made a confession that he had enough money to pay salaries and he does pay; one must humbly submit it’s nothing but the enormity of his concern for his people and he has been vindicated. This session that exemplified a transparent Government at its peak, is first of its kind.
I’m more than happy that the Governor resolved to not spare anyone found behind this organized financial crime on the Government’s payroll.