- Over N2bn is Allegedly Being Siphoned Monthly in the Name of Salary
Months after Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State assumed office as the Executive Governor of the state in 2015, one of thing he did was to begin a verification of workers in the state. But this medium’s findings showed that as soon as he became Governor of Bauchi, the song on his lip was that the state has a workforce of 105,000.
For instance, in an interview with Daily Trust newspaper, published on April 17, 2017 and titled: “Why my detractors are after me Gov – Abubakar” he said; “People alleged that we are not doing anything in Bauchi State. Everybody knows the situation, what Nigerians do not know is that Kano is the most populous state in Nigeria and it has 44 local government areas, but it has a total manpower of 92,000. Bauchi state, on the other hand, with 20 local government areas, has 105,000; that is the number of people on my payroll.”
Again, in a show of contradiction by the Bauchi Governor, in another newspaper publication by Vanguard Newspaper, dated August 23, 2017, and titled: “With 92,000 workforce, N5.1bn wage bill, verification necessary — Bauchi Gov;”
The paper’s story stated thus; “Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi state said, yesterday, that with 92,000 workforce and a monthly wage bill of N5.1 billion, the state’s ongoing verification exercise, which has entered the biometric stage, is necessary. The governor, who has come under pressure to abandon the exercise, disclosed this in an interaction with newsmen in Lagos, saying he had been under attacks from those benefiting from ghost workers syndrome in the state.
“According to him, it is inconceivable for Bauchi to have such huge workforce when Kano State, with one of the largest population, has just 105,000 workers,” the Newspaper said. This time around, the governor gave Kano 105,000 and Bauchi 92,000 workers.
Governor Abubakar said: “Our monthly wage bill for state and local government workers is N5.1 billion. I can count the number of times the state’s allocation was more than N5 billion monthly. This is why we felt the need for verification.”
Universal Reporters findings showed that the above statement was made during the verification and, even after the verification, it is gathered that he has continued to maintain the same number of workforce adding that Bauchi has more number of workers than Kano state.
But in a move that looks like debunking Governor Abubakar’s comment on Daily Trust of April 23, 2017, and Vanguard of August 23, 2017, the Kano Head of Civil Service in Tribune newspaper of September 24, 2017 with the title; “Kano govt spends N9.2bn monthly on 156,000 workforce as salary,” says the contrary. According to the newspaper; “Kano State Government has said that it spent N9.2 billion as salary and allowances for civil servants in the state. It also covered the salaries of employees of SUBEB and local governments, as well as other related salary organisations in the state for the total workforce of about 156,000 workers.”
It is obvious that the above statement has countered Governor Mohammed Abubakar’s claim of having 105,000 workforces which he also said is higher than that of Kano.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that a former Bauchi State Accountant General, Abubakar Gabi, in a report in Vanguard newspaper of March 14, 2016 gave a breakdown of the workforce Governor Abubakar inherited to be as follows;
* 33,000 state civil servants.
* 27,000 local government workers
* 29,000 Local Education Authority, LEA (teachers).
Which if added will give a total of 89,000 workers, out of which he said;
The former Accountant General added that;
* 4,500 out 33,000 state civil servants were ghost workers.
* 7,300 out of 27,000 local government workers were ghost workers.
* Another 7,300 out of 29,000 Local Education Authority, LEA (teachers) were ghost workers.
Which also made it a total of 19,100 ghost workers that were discovered during the verification exercise.
The Accountant General also stated that the state saved N797.46 million as a result of the verification exercise.
Also, in a report by Punch newspaper of June 6, 2017, the governor and his Head of Civil Service, Mr. Liman Bello disagreed on the actual number of ghost workers discovered. The governor said that the actual number is 22,000.
But Mr. Liman Bello, while responding to a question during a ministerial briefing, said it was wrong for anyone to give out any statistics on ghost workers since the verification was an ongoing exercise.
However, documents sighted by this medium show that both the governor and his Accountant General are being economical with the truth about Bauchi’s total workforce after all. The documents, as published below, show that the state MDAs have a workforce of 33,082; while the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education has a workforce of 29,111; while the number of Local Government workers in the state’s 20 LGAs is 26,201. In all, the total workforce of the state is 69,394, after 19000 ghost workers have been removed.
If 69,394 shown by the documents are to be removed from the 105,000 claimed by the governor, it follows that 35,606 workers are unaccounted for. And an estimated N2 billion is being carted away in the name of the unaccounted workers.