The governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has busted a cartel in the salary department of the civil service that specialized in creating ghost workers and augmenting the allowances of some workers in the state.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the state government would be realizing at least N500 million monthly from the original payroll.
Insiders said the cartel, led by a deputy director, have worked in the department for 20 years.
“This cartel has been milking Sokoto dry. They take arbitrary decisions regarding salaries and allowances without the approval of the state governor,” the insider said.
“By this courageous action of the Governor Tambuwal, the state government will have excess of N500 million every month.
“Just after transitioning from the old platform to the newly integrated platform with end-to-end ability, at least N200 million was saved.”
There are concerns over the state government’s decision but the state commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Balarabe Kakale, clarified the issue, saying the state governor has endeavoured to realize its vision of inculcating transparency and accountability in the wage structure, as one of the means of ensuring efficiency and optimum service delivery.
“The recent Civil Servants Biometric Data Census conducted by the Office of the Head of Service and similar exercises are aimed at producing and maintaining a reliable database that will enable the Government guarantee workers in its employment their entitlements as at when due,” Mr Kakale said.
“More recently, the present Administration has set up a Steering Committee to Oversee the Improved Strategic Salary and Internally Generated Revenue Platforms in the state. It is an initiative necessitated by the realisation of the need to address discrepancies in the administration of salary in the state.
“Over the years, salary figures have been at variance with data from the relevant Agencies. The committee has been tasked to find ways of harmonising the figures with a view to ensuring a common figure in all Agencies, while exploring measures to stabilize fluctuating Internally generated revenue in the State.
“So far remarkable successes are being recorded in terms of resolving the knotty difficulties in the state’s payroll and is set to realize substantial savings for the Government. A new platform has been put in place to curtail misapplications of annual increments and allowances to ensure accurate process in salary administration.
“Furthermore, a revised payslip that comprehensively captures the salary items of each employee has been developed and will come into effect by being mailed to individual salary earners this October in order to entrench transparency in the system.
“The current process, therefore, also requires the support of workers in the State’s payroll. Accordingly, civil servants who have issues with their salary grade levels, steps or other problems are enjoined to freely approach the Committee through personal visit to its help Desk established in the Cabinet Office, Usman Faruku Secretariat for prompt resolution. The help Desk can also be reached through the following numbers 08105475900, 08106010490 and 08144885521.
“Similarly, civil servants not covered by previous exercises will be given the opportunity to come forward and be included in the database. The ultimate long-term objective of the ongoing exercise, is the creation and sustenance of accurate data on salaries and other entitlements of civil servants, a prerequisite for efficiency and prudence in the management of scarce resources.”