The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Niger State Chapter, on Wednesday said that the verification exercise for civil servants had saved the state government about N216 billion.
Alhaji Idris Ndako, the state NLC Chairman, disclosed this at the presentation of the report of the verification exercise to Gov. Abubakar Bello in Minna.
Newsmen recall that the state government had on July 15 embarked on staff verification to determine the number of civil servants in its employment.
Ndako said that irregularities such as salary padding, double salary, over payment and undue allowances were discovered during the verification exercise.
He said that the culprits were made to refund such monies to the central account of the state Ministry of Finance and receipts were issued.
According to him, accounts belonging to dead persons, retirees, absconders and workers that did not come for verification remained active on the salary platform until they were suspended.
The NLC chairman said that the verification exercise succeeded in strengthening the employment records and bio data of the state workforce.
“To a large extent, the exercise has sanitised and blocked potentials for leakages in the system. These components were hitherto porous, a situation that gave room for fraudulent practices.
“With the above in place and consolidated, the system is made self-checking and any attempt of fraud will be easily identified and tracked,” he said.
Responding, Bello called for continuous working relationship between the organised labour and government to improve the welfare of civil service in the state.
He said that a study of the new system would be carried out with a view to better the standard of living of civil servants in the state.
He appealed to workers at the state and local government levels and organised labour to work for the progress and development of the state in order to bequeath a workable legacy for generations yet unborn.
“We should wish for the progress and development of Niger State. We will all want to see a better Niger State tomorrow and to leave a system that is workable for the future generations.
“I want to believe that no one of you here wants to leave problems for the future generations. We should be able to lay a platform so that when they come they will have better quality life.
“I pray that in the future we will see a manageable workforce of about 29, 000 at the state level and 60,000 at the local government level.
“By this, we will be able to pay our workers all their allowances and improve their standard of living so that we can get a quality civil service,” Bello said.
He commended the NLC leadership for partnering with government in the conduct of the exercise.