By Sulaiman Maijama’a
If there is anything more flabbergasted in Bauchi State last week than the assassination of Hon. Musa Mante, is the report of the implementation committee on Bank Verification Number (BVN) and authentication of civil servants on its payroll, set up by the Bauchi State government as it disclosed that it had saved a total sum of N225,519,737:56 for the government from October 2019 to June 2020.
This is just as the committee removed a total of 882 state and local governments ghost workers on the nominal payroll.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, who gave an update on the exercise in Bauchi, shortly after presenting the report said:
“We found in other cases where six people are employed by two different organizations. They are taking a salary from the state government and taking a salary from other institutions outside the government circle. We are making inroads into these kinds of cases and God willing we will tackle them.
“There are instances where we have eight persons, using one BVN. We don’t know how it happened but we have to find it out.”
He said the committee had conducted physical verification of 5,238 staff from the state’s civil service and out of the figure, 4,654 were cleared while 583 failed to show up.
When I read this news last week, i felt scandalized. At the time the state governor 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. I’m scared, envisaging the future of our yet unborn generation.
This fraud in the state civil service is a calamity that inflicts difficulty, especially on the civil servants as it delays their salaries. Bauchi State being a civil servant State, salary delay will never be easy for the people of the state. But the government has no other viable alternative than verification. I must give accolades to the governor for apologizing to the genuine workers for the inconveniences the exercise may have caused.
It could be recalled that previous administrations of former Gov. Abdullahi Abubakar and that of Mal. Isah Yuguda had also conducted verifications perpetually, but ghost workers still sneak into the state and local government payroll, which means the narrative is unchanged. I attribute the failure to lack of implementation of the verification committee’s recommendation.
I’m, however, happy and confident that the state’s governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed resolved to make difference as he had after receiving the committee’s report expressed his readiness to implement all recommendations presented in order to achieve the set objectives. His readiness is, to me, an indication that he means business and that is what contrasts him with the previous administrations.
I don’t want to be seen as beating his drum, but strictly speaking, Governor Bala Mohammed’s approach symbolises how careful in the management of the state’s resources he is.
I finally recommend those indulged in this devilish act, be arraigned to face the fullest wrath of the law in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
Maijama’a writes from the Faculty of Communication, BUK and can be reached via: email@example.com
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily