Nasarawa Councils Looses Over N503 Million On Ghost Workers And Retirees—Permanent Secretary Ministry For Local Govt Cries Out

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Rabiu Omaku

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muhammad Sani Bala has opened a can of worms over the huge amount of money lost as benefit of retirees under the Local Government system.

 

The P.S disclosed this during a monthly Joint Account Committee for the month of May, Sani Bala intimate the committee that a total of over N503,467,049.66m went down the drain in the name of salaries and pension paid unidentified retirees and workers.

 

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He said the amount was meant to pensioners cut across the thirteen Local Governments in the State, adding that the State Deputy Governor, Dr.Emmanuel Akabe directed the ministry to take stringent measures to investigate the issues of Local Government  pensions and salaries.

 

He said it was discovered  that the sum of 76, 646, 096.35 million naira was saved across the thirteen Local Government Areas for the month of May, 2020,while the total of N503, 467,049.66 million naira was lost meant for the retirees across the thirteen Local Government Areas  from June 2019 to May 2020.

 

The Permanent Secretary revealed that monies should have been migrated from salaries to pension given that a sizable number of workers across the Local Government Areas have retired from Service during the period but their salaries continued to flow.

 

He however explained that the findings of the investigation carried out by the ministry will be transmitted to the office of the State Accountant General of Local Government for further investigation.

 

Muhammad Sani Bala also revealed that the ministry has observed that monies for salaries have increased as a result of failure to remove names of retirees from the payroll of Local Government while pension has continued to hike; pointing out that Local Governments, Local Government Service Commission and SUBEB must take necessary measures to prevent such colossal lost.

 

The Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Aminu Muazu Maifata appreciated the ministry for the discovery and pledged to investigate how the monies were used just as he assured that they will operate an open door policy to carry everyone along in the discharge of their duties.

 

During the Joint Account Allocation Committee,  JAAC, Meeting,  State Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs Yusuf Aliyu Turaki stressed the need for authorities of local Governments to run a transparent administration that will instill confidence in the minds of people especially workers.

 

Yusuf Turaki explained that the ministry invited leaders of labour unions at the local Government level to be part of the meeting as observants with a view to giving them the opportunity to understand the runnings of the ministry.

 

He said the measure taken  was also meant to provide the union leaders a clear platform to have the detail of the monthly financial standing meant for Local Government Areas as well as to avert industrial action.

 

Yusuf Aliyu Turaki used the occasion to restate Governor Abdullahi Sule’s unwavering commitment to sustaining hundred per cent payment of Local government salaries and pensions for retirees at the Local Government level in the state.

 

He in addition opined that the monies should have been migrated from salaries to pension given that a sizable number of workers across the Local government areas have retired from Service during the period but their salaries continued to flow.

 

He further explained that the findings of the investigation carried out by the ministry will be transmitted to the office of the State Accountant General of Local Government for further investigation.

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