Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State wednesday alleged that there was an ongoing conspiracy to cause a major beach of security and disorder by beneficiaries of the corruption in the state civil service wage system.
The state which was almost at the precipice due to prolong Boko Haram insurgency just recently got back his groove.
Addressing a state broadcast, Shettima said the state recently discovered over a billion naira in its wage bill after a biometric audit of the system.
He alleged that there was grand conspiracy by the top beneficiaries of the scam to undermine his government by sponsoring series of protest and beach of security.
Shettima who declared that he won’t budge to the pressure to allow the sleaze to continue, said he was even ready against all odds to pay the supreme price in order to ensure that the people of the state already deprived are no longer robbed.
The governor, who had to stop the payment of salaries for two months to give room for the audit, immediately ordered that the salaries of over 12,000 workers captured in the biometric audit should be paid.
He said the state Ministry of Finance should commence immediately payment of N2,258,641.912, which represent the two months salaries of civil servants for July and August 2016.
The governor also vowed to deal decisively with anybody found wanting in any fraudulent act in respect of the workers salary.
Shettima who addressed journalists after the broadcast, stated that there is no amount of mischief and blackmail that will stop his government from ensuring sanity in the civil service and bring an end to the fraudulent elongated list of workforce.
He said he would ensure even at the cost of his life that the stealing of hundreds of millions of naira monthly in the name of ghost workers stop.
He said during his 2016 budget presentation to the state assembly, he stated that a biometric data exercise would be conducted in all the state workforce and he constituted a high powered committee with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa as Chairman to carry out the screening exercise of the civil service and the verification committee discovered that out of the over 25,000 workforce on the payroll of the state government which government pays about N2.7 billion monthly as salary of workers, it is actually a total number of 19,763 names of workers who collected verification forms for the screening exercise having N1,129, 320, 950.00 on the payroll.
He said but after the verification exercise and the biometric capturing of data of the 19,763 workers was conducted by the state government through the verification committee , only 11,327 workers their data was captured during the exercise while over 7,342 workers are yet to be captured by the machine due to irregularities or one problem or the other in the form of irregular employment, irregular placement and irregular replacements, irregular salary package, irregular rank or level, over stay in service, double employment and collection of salary monthly , collecting salary at retirement or death among others especially through banks using ATMs and BVNs at banks where names of different individuals or some relations are used as ghost names in conspiracy.
He warned that any bank found to be involved in any fraud would be blacklisted and all government accounts with such bank will be closed or terminated.
The governor revealed also that a bank was involved and got issuing fake and fraudulent ATMs for workers diverting and mismanaging public funds which he described as complete sabotage and fraud against the tenets of transparency and public accountability while addressing the behavior and conduct of some enemies of government as saboteurs.