Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, on Monday put the amount being lost by the state government annually to the activities of payroll fraudsters at about N24 billion.
He also cited the deductions made at source, adding that, over N100 billion has so far been paid by his administration in the last four years on bonds and overpayments made to his predecessors.
According to him, about N1.3 billion goes for bond deductions, while more than one billion naira is deducted for overpayments, amounting to about N2.5 billion monthly.
The fraudsters perfect their act through connivance with some financial institutions in the state
The governor, who made the disclosure during a live interview programme in Yenagoa, explained that there had been a cabal over the years, who are now frustrating the government’s efforts in sanitising the payroll of its workforce.
While expressing his administration’s determination to clean up the payroll of the workers, he explained that government has devised a system, whereby payment of salaries would now be controlled.
Consequently, all heads of ministries, departments, agencies and school principals have been directed to prepare nominal rolls and payroll vouchers.
The governor stressed that they would be held responsible for any issue arising from their documents.
While lamenting the steady decline of the state’s revenue from the federation account, coupled with its poor internally generated revenue profile, Dickson stated that the current system of payment of salaries was no longer sustainable.
He described the activities of the payroll fraudsters as a massive problem that has accumulated over the years.
On the payment of workers salaries, Dickson said his administration gave some options to the leadership of labour in the state, which includes, 70 per cent pro rata payment or 50 per cent across board for all civil servants.
Speaking on the on-going industrial action by staff of the state-owned Niger Delta Delta University (NDU), he said the institution was also bedeviled by the problem of over-bloated workforce, as the government spends about N500 million monthly as grant since 2012.
He the system whereby NDU spends the entire amount on salary payment as unsustainable, and urged the management of the university to be innovative in generating revenue.
He also said, efforts are on to ensure the payment of workers, noting that, the government would introduce stringent measures aimed at checking absenteeism and other forms of indiscipline in the public service.