By Laleye Dipo Minna
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has confirmed that deductions were made from workers’ salaries when they received their April 2019 pay but described the action as “illegal”.
Several civil servants had between N20,000 and N60,000 deducted from their pay when they received the alerts from their banks between last Friday and Tuesday this week.
However, Governor Bello, who spoke at the event marking this year’s May Day at the 123 football field, said he was not aware of the deductions and did not direct the action.
Describing the development as “very unfortunate” the governor directed that “all the deductions should be refunded to the workers immediately”.
The governor also shocked the labour leaders and their members that assembled for the celebration when he accused some finance clerks of engaging in sharp practices at times in connivance with other civil servants.
According to him, “Most at times account officers collect more than 20 salaries of workers and connive with the real civil servants to post the money to their account which they will withdraw and settle themselves.
“This is the highest level of corruption in the civil service which cannot be tolerated anymore.
“I will not spare anybody. Even if you like, bring all the emir in Niger State to my house, it will not save you. Redeem yourself and your sins will be forgiven.
“I am aware of sharp practices by some staff of the Ministry of Finance who are in the habit of paying themselves salaries of four to five civil servants.”
On the new minimum wage, the governor reassured the workers of his earlier promise to pay the N30,000 minimum wage recently signed into law by the federal government.
He however advised the civil servants to be polite while asking for their entitlements so that it would be considered.