No fewer than 596 dead civil servants in Bauchi State are still drawing salaries and allowances from the purse of the state government over the years, a state report says.
The discovery was made by the Verification Committee set up by the state government to ascertain the number of civil servants in the state in order to determine the actual amount payable as salaries and allowances on a monthly basis.
The Chairman of the Committee, Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, made the disclosure on Monday while briefing reporters on their assignment which took about three months.
Gumba said that 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 have been verified and cleared by the Committee and have started receiving their salaries and allowances.
On those who forfeited to appear before the Committee, Gumba said: “Maybe they will 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.”
According to him, if the entire 130,000 workers in the state and local governments, as well as pensioners, will be verified, ghost workers will be discovered because, as he put it, “if we can uncover ghost workers from the 30,226 verified, how much more will be discovered if the entire number were verified?”
He went on to assure that those verified and cleared by the Committee but who have not received their 3 months salaries and allowances will now be paid without any further delay, declaring that Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has approved the immediate payment of the arrears of their salaries.
Gumba expressed hope that whatever amount will be saved from the exercise will be used by the government to improve the welfare of the state civil service for optimum service delivery.
He added that in due time, the embargo placed on the recruitment of new staff will be lifted to allow for the replacement of retired professionals, stating that “most MDAs are lacking professionals in service.”
It will be recalled that late last year, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir set up a special committee to verify the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of civil servants in the state suspected to be ghost workers.