How Borno, NLC fish out 13, 603 ghost workers

The Borno State Government and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have vowed and continue to fish out more ghost workers until sanity, transparency and accountability are achieved in the State’s Civil Service.

The flush out of 13, 603 ghost workers on Thursday by the verification and biometric committee, was expedited by the joint “cooperation and understanding” of NLC; despite the nonpayment of salaries for two months.

Addressing the people in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday, Governor Kashim Shettima disclosed: “Over 4, 000 workers have problems with their biometric capture, out of the 19, 700 workers. Then we had problems with additional 1, 500 workers; who have accounts with Bank of Agriculture. Their salaries were paid in a lump sum way and so on; and that need to be sorted out.”

He continued: “What I told the leadership of the NLC; was that we are willing to pay the salaries for two months of all those that have been captured in the biometric exercise. Unfortunately, according to its members, they said that an injury to one is an injury to all. They would rather wait for the exercise to be completed; before they will accept salary payments.

“I made them to reason, because in a journey of 1, 000 miles, begins with a single step. These salaries; no matter how little, it might be; makes our people eligible for the next tranche of credit from the neighbourhood store.”

The Governor said that he has authorised the payments of salaries of over 11, 000 workers that have so far been verified by the committee. He said that from N2.7 billion salaries for the verified workers, their salaries, however, plummeted to N1.1 billion, saving over N1.6 billion from the fished out ghost workers.

“What it means is that even if you assume that the outstanding 4, 000 or 5, 000 or 6, 000 workers, their salaries are about N500 million or N600 million,” explained Shettima.

He said that the maximum wage bills cannot exceed N1.7 billion, with a monthly savings of over N1 billion. He however; noted that even if the state government can save N500 million, it will go a long way to fill in the gaps in this trying period of austerity measures.

He said that he knows the price he is going to pay. “I am ready to pay the ‘supreme price’ of this ongoing biometric exercise for sanity, transparency and accountability to be instilled into Borno’s Civil
Service system,” vowed Shettima.

He said that people are already organising riots as he addressed journalists.

“Some people are planning to burn down the Musa Usman Secretariat complex that houses 25, 000 workers,” disclosed the Governor, adding that while others are trying to storm the venues of the ongoing biometric exercise that could restore sanity, transparency and accountability in the Civil Service.

Shettima also alleged that; “there are vast interests, who wanted the continuing of these problem practices of hoarding ghost workers in the state.

“Let them continue organising riots in the 16 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, but I will not budge in the fight against ghost workers.”

He said: “We are going to do the right thing; no matter the consequence. If they want to storm the Government House, they are free to do so.”
He warned: “We have notified the security agencies to take whatever step that need to be taken to safeguard public institutions.”

In this article:
Kashim ShettimaNLC
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