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Gombe govt uncovers 523 ghost workers, saves ₦1.5bn

Magaji described it as a huge investment for the Inuwa Yahaya administration’s efforts towards ensuring good governance to improve the well-being of the people.

Governor Muhammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state (PM News)

Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated this during the induction of the newly recruited biometric supervisors, on Thursday in Gombe.

Represented by his deputy, Manassah Jatau, the governor said the government saved about N1.5 billion from 523 workers who failed to show up for the biometric exercise since its inception in October 2021.

Yahaya said the biometric management system was designed to address the uncertainty in the number of workers at both the state and local government levels.

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He said the introduction and deployment of 4,000 Biometric Machines Attendance Register across the state helped to address issues of ghost workers.

According to Yahaya, the trend places a financial burden on governments at all levels and negatively affects infrastructure, social and economic development projects.

“So far this novel initiative has saved the government, a monthly sum of N23,758,858 since 2021.

“Drawn the recognition and support of international organisations, for example, the World Bank, Development Partners like the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (GAVI) which saw this as a model to be emulated by others,” he said.

He tasked the personnel to focus on solving technical glitches, adding that they were expected to oversee the effective operation of the programme to serve as a link between employees and the biometric secretariat, among others.

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Also, the Commissioner for Finance, Malam Muhammad Magaji, said the Gombe government earned four million dollars under the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.

Magaji described it as a huge investment for the Inuwa Yahaya administration’s efforts towards ensuring good governance to improve the well-being of the people.

He said the implementation of the biometric management system helped the state to meet certain international standards.

According to him, Gombe is rated as one of the best states in terms of payroll management, adding that other states were coming to it to understudy the success in this regard.

“Over 500 workers who do not contribute to productivity in Gombe State have been uncovered, saving about N24 million monthly with a cumulative saving of over N1 billion.

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“The money earned through this exercise does not come to the government but rather channelled to payment of promotion arrears and outstanding gratuities.

“It cleared insinuations that the government was trying to reduce funds by taking workers out of the payroll,” he said.

Magaji said the recruitment of the 305 youths was also part of the gains of the financial management reforms.

Magaji tasked the supervisors to work diligently to ensure the successful conduct of the exercise, warning unethical conduct would not be condoned.

“If you are caught doing anything otherwise, I assure you that we will replace you.

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“Know that the responsibilities placed on you are very critical, and we will not accept indolence and corrupt practices,” he said.

Dr Ismail Jibrin, the Biometric Programme Consultant, said the successful implementation of the programme made it a model for other states.

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