Fred Itua, Bauchi
Bauchi State government has uncovered about 41,000 ghost workers on it payroll. Governor, Bala Mohammed, who disclosed this, alleged that some government officials were compromised by the fake workers as most of them were paid salaries without evidence of any Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).
Governor Mohammed who spoke Saturday night when he hosted members of the FCT Minister’s Press Corps on their annual retreat in Bauchi said civil servants suspected to the involved in the cover-up of the ghost workers have been suspended and would be investigated.
“Just last week, we discovered that some of our civil servants are ghost workers. But 41, 000 out of 101, 000 civil servants in Bauchi do not have BVN and they have been collecting salaries. A lot of compromise gas happened since the last administration. It is good to note that Government has not employed any graduate in the last four years. Yet our salaries were increasing. And some mischievous people are complaining about my discoveries. The Federal Government said everybody must have a BVN.
“Those who have BVN have been getting alerts, but the rest of the civil servants must be investigated. Some of the ghost workers we suspect are conniving with our education secretaries in the local governments and health directors. As a civil servants, I am suspending them to find out what happened; if I find out that they are not compromised, I will be just and equitable to them. But, if otherwise, the civil service rules will apply to them, so that nobody will do it again,” said Mohammed.
The Governor also revealed how former President Goodluck Jonathan dominated him for a a ministerial position (in the FCT), even when he was in the opposition.
“As a member of the then All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), i didn’t want to serve in the administration of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but President Jonathan insisted.
“We had ministers who were very close to the President. In my own case, President Jonathan and I had nothing in common, except Nigeria. But Jonathan picked me and said ‘you will be a minister.’ The day he told me that, I said ‘Oga’ you cannot surrender FCT to an opposition, and he said, ‘you will do it because of what you did during the issue of ‘doctrine of necessity’. I told him that I did not do that for him, I did it for Nigeria.
“I suggested my friend’s name for the post, but he insisted. That was how Jonathan did something I will never forget,” said Governor Mohammed.