From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
In a bid to rid the state of ghost workers and over-bloated wage bill, the Benue State Government has commenced screening of 44,000 civil servants and local government employees for the modified table payment.
It would be recalled that the total wage bill of Benue State had risen to about N7.8 billion in recent times.
Deputy Governor of the state and Chairman, State Emergency Committee on Salary Issues, Engr. Benson Abounu, while flagging-off the screening exercise at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, on Thursday, stated that the aim of the screening was to know the total workforce and exact wage bill of the state.
Abounu disclosed that during a mock screening that was conducted a few days back, it was discovered that three out of the 10 civil servants that were screened who should have retired were still in the civil service and drawing their salary.
He also revealed further that it was also discovered that Health Administrative officers who resume for work and close at the normal time without having anything to do with shifts were collecting shift allowance.
“We hope to achieve the total workforce and exact wage bill of the state. When we did a mock test two days back, we discovered that of the 10 civil servants that were screened, three should have retired. It was also discovered that Health Administrative workers who do not do any night work are on shift allowance.”
The Deputy Governor however warned anyone whose employment are questionable against appearing for screening stressing that any fake officer would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“It is an exercise that involves personal appearance. There is no room for manipulation. We are dealing with 19,000 civil servants and 25,000 local government employees. Any fake officer who presents his or herself for screening would be handed over to the police,” he said.