The Plateau Government has expressed frustration that its efforts to curb corruption in its public service are being thwarted by workers in the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Abraham Yiljap, said that among the corrupt practices found in the system was the discovery of a fake commissioner in the state service.
Yiljap said in an interview on Tuesday that the alleged fake commissioner had been earning the salary and allowances attached to the office.
He described the level of corruption in the state service as “nauseating”.
“There is a fake commissioner on the payroll of Plateau state government. I mean somebody appointed himself as commissioner and has been receiving salaries and other perks of office as one.
“We have a lot of bad things. Some people are on grade level 8 but receive salaries meant for level 16 officers. Others have primary school certificates and are retiring on grade level 14.
“In another instance, some of the workers connived and stole N66 million scholarship funds.
“There are many other people, who are taking money that they should not be taking. Some are no longer in the service but they are maintained in service. People are maintaining fictitious names and drawing salaries,” the commissioner said.
The commissioner said it was sad that workers had continued to thwart the government’s efforts to cleanse the system.
He said the workers engaged in all forms of corrupt practices, particularly through the falsification of names in salary vouchers.
Yiljap said the state had a monthly wage bill of N1.7 billion and described the sum as “simply incredulous and unacceptable.
“That huge wage bill is taking its toll on our efforts to execute capital projects.
“Some workers are retiring, some are actually leaving the service totally and some have died. So, the total number of workers and the wage bill should actually go down, but it is rising, paradoxically.”
The commissioner said that the state government had 17,000 workers but it had compared its wage bill with those of states with 45,000 employees and found that its wage bill was much higher.
“We have found out that states with about 45,000 workers pay about N800 million as monthly salary. The biometric system puts Plateau workers at 17,000 workers yet our wage bill is N1.7 billion,” he said.
The commissioner said the government had constituted committees on the issue and carried out biometric data capturing.
He said it was sad that a cartel kept frustrating efforts to cleanse the system.
“We have tried different measures but when you take one step, they find a way of frustrating and truncating it and when you take another step, they find another way of truncating it; this is what we are facing.
“Government has continued to lose about a billion naira monthly through this racket. But we will go after them. We will continue to bring in other measures until we fish out those behind these acts. We must deal with them appropriately.”
He said the civil service commission had been directed, and was being strengthened to take actions against those who had been found liable, in accordance with due process.
“Government will release the names of those, who have been found guilty in corrupting the systems. We are compiling the names. As we continue to investigate, we will expose them so that they will know that we are serious.
“These people that went and worked out a fake commissioner, those who stole N66 million scholarship fund and those who are inflating figures and using fictitious names, we shall soon expose them and deal with them,” he declared.
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