Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has expressed sadness at the level of corruption in the state service and vowed that his administration would bring it to an end.
He vented his frustration on the occasion of public media parley with stakeholders on challenges of salary payment and issues of nominal/payrolls held on thursday, , 2020 at command guest house, Bauchi.
The media parley was on the challenges associated with the payment of salaries in the State and Local Governments as well as issues related to the nominal roll and pension administration.
“I made a promise to workers in the State that I will ensure prompt payment of their salaries. This is because as a federalist and a core administrator in Federal Service, I have empathy for civil servants,” he said.
“I promised workers during my campaign that I will sort out the mess associated with our salaries. Yes, I have kept my promise by ensuring that workers are paid as at when due. In fact, we pay salaries on or before the 26 of every month. But we are still not there yet. The reason is simple and painful”
According to him, “Unfortunately, the civil service in Bauchi State has suffered from systematic attrition bastardized by fraudulent practices and outright corruption. My predecessors who attempted to sanitize the system, either lack of the courage, political will or they were frustrated by cartel or beneficiaries of this organized financial criminality”
“I must say this from the onset. I am sad, very sad that by act of Commission, collusion and distortion, our State, Bauchi is facing a monumental task of sorting out what is clearly a corrupted salary regime”
The governor said what appeared to be at first a simple issue of aligning nominal and payrolls and sorting out the arithmetic, suddenly turned to be a problem that seems to defy all known formulate that will bring an answer or a solution.
“Clearly the problem was much more challenging than I earlier envisaged,” he stated.
“What we have done in Government is to employ global best practice. Technology Data Key. We also need credible experts to drive both in order to succeed. Consequently, we engaged the services of a Financial Management Consultant DYNATECH who will be speaking to you shortly, to give us a head start at finding solutions. The initial findings are mind boggling. For example:Payroll Fraud Account for more than 35% of Accounting Fraud and employee theft in the State.
“Lack of credible Nominal Roll in the State contributed to that hence the need to drive the payroll using the nominal roll.Head of Civil Service and other Chief Executives having no hold of their nominal rolls. Lack of adequate payroll fraud mechanism that will check the activities of the fraudsters lead to the unchecked activities over these period. Ghost workers, civil servants falsifying allowances and other fraud in payrolls have frozen employment thereby creating a huge vacuum in the service delivery as well as generation gap in the State Service. In fact in Bauchi State, one can easily be a pensioner, get paid without ever working and can even earn arrears in payment”
The governor vowed that unlike other administrations in the past that were overwhelmed, “Let me be frank with you all. Bauchi is at the crossroads. We must decide to either take the bull by the horn or to allow the monster to take us down. In my view, we must deliver a knockout punch to the devil in the payroll. Even in our state of anger at this fraudulent way conducting Government business we must act in a scientific manner by developing technology to drive data in addressing the problem”