Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has appealed to civil servants in the state to be patient with his government over the one-year long verification exercise, which he said would be concluded in April.
The verification of the workers commenced in June 2015.
Some civil servants in the state have complained of the process used by the government, with some of them, especially primary school teachers, working for five months without salaries before they were paid in January because of the exercise.
However, in a government statement on Sunday, El-Rufai expressed regrets that workers were subjected to hardships as a result of the verification, which he pointed out was in the larger interest of the state as N500 million had been saved monthly since the exercise commenced.
He said: “It is in the wider public interest to establish precisely who works for the government, to ensure that public funds are not being drained to pay ghost workers. It is also in the personal career interests of each worker that the payroll is not distorted or bloated by non-existent workers.
“Steady progress has been made since the verification process for workers and pensioners commenced in June 2015. The results so far show that the payroll for wages and pensions has declined from the N2.7bn it cost to pay workers in May 2015. The government is pushing to make further savings by unmasking more ghosts. To build on this success and ensure the integrity of the payroll, the government is pressing ahead with the concluding phase of the verification exercise. This is expected to end in April 2016. Workers who have patiently partaken in the exercise since June 2015 should demonstrate the same spirit now that verification is close to the finishing line.
“Anyone who has any doubts about the need to ensure that public funds are not frittered on ghosts should note that federal allocation to the state last month was N2.8bn. If the government had not taken steps to shrink the payroll and cut costs, what would be left for public services if the payroll remained at N2.7bn? The state’s IGR is not yet big enough to cover the gap.
“As an employer, the government regrets that some workers have encountered hitches during the verification process”.