Ghost workers: Sokoto saves N1.6bn, to publish monthly payroll on state website

By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor

Sokoto state government, says it saved over N1.647,657,430.86 billion from 1,370 ghost workers, between October last year and May 2020 from ghost workers, illegible workers and sale of employment letters.

This was disclosed in a report of the committee on Harmonised Sokoto State Staff List, presented to Governor Aminu Tambuwal at the Government House on Thursday.

The commissioner of finance, Alhaji Abdulsamad Dasuki said, in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the discharge of its duties, the ministry created a website where all verified staff payroll will be posted on monthly basis.

He called on civil servants to make it their personal responsibility to scrutinize, monitor and blow the whistle whenever anything suspicious is noted on the website.

The out-going Head of Civil Service, Dr Buhari Kware said the total staff strength of the state is 29,583 as at 31 March 2020.

The number is comprised of 12,303 junior staff on grade levels 01-06; 17,085 senior officers on grade levels 07 and above; and 195 public/ political office holders.

According to Kware, many attempts were made in the past by successive administrations, to ensure that a common, comprehensive and reliable data base of the state work force was evolved, but none succeeded until Tambuwal assumed office in 2015.

“Since then, a number of methods have been employed to deliver results based on the governor’s directives that Bank Verification Number (BVN), should be captured in addition to Biometric staff census up to the current payroll sanitization exercise.

He also commended Dasuki for his accomplishment of the task and other various reforms that are currently going on in the state financial/ economic sector of the state.

Receiving the report, Tambuwal who applauded the efforts of the committee for saving that much for the state, directed that the same exercise should be conducted simultaneously on local government staff in Tambuwal, Kware and Sokoto North local government councils.

He said the aim of the exercise is to harmonize the payroll system of the state workforce.

According to him, on his assumption of office in 2015, while interacting with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), he noticed that the data base of civil servants was inaccurate.

“As a result, this administration has since then introduced various methods to come up with accurate data in that regard,” Tambuwal said adding that, “the exercises embarked upon were intended to sanitize the salary system and not directed at witch hunting anybody but to harmonise the civil servants payroll system in the state.

“This feat has now placed the state among those with leading system in the operation of automated payroll system in the country,” the governor added.