By Wole Mosadomi
Niger state government has dismissed a Messanger collecting the salaries equivalent to that of a High Court Judge in Niger State along with 79 others involved in other related salary scams in the State.
The involved Civil Servants cut across various Ministries and Parastatals in the state with Millions of Naira involved and were found culpable in the ongoing salary verification exercise by the state government.
The State Head of Service, Hajiya Salamatu Abubakar who disclosed this while addressing Journalists after the end of the Executive Council meeting in Government House Thursday disclosed that all the affected civil servants are now awaiting their dismissal letters from the office of the state civil service commission which will be served them soonest.
According to her, “all the indicted civil servants have made confessional statements before the state salary audit committee and their respective ministries, Department and Agencies on their roles of adding ghost names to the state payroll to paying themselves salaries and allowances they were not qualified for.
“There was an instance where a messenger in the state judicial service was found to be collecting the salary of a High court Judge. The situation is as bad as that.
“Also a civil servant who was also impersonating the Hon Commissioner of Agriculture and rural development, Alhaji Haruna Dukku and collecting his salary and making it look as if he was earning double salary was also uncovered,” the Head of Service disclosed.
A breakdown of the number of affected civil servants shows that the state Hospital Management Board had a total of 45 staff involved in the salary racketeering syndicate.
The Judiciary, comprising sharia courts, magistrate and High court has 22 of their staff also involved with a staff each from the Ministry of Health and Education also caught in the web.
Further breakdown of workers also involved in the scam includes two staff from the state school of midwifery, Minna and the school of Health technology, Tunga magajiya in Rijau.
She said the State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has already given his nod for the immediate dismissal of those involved in the scam.
It is not yet ascertained whether those involved will be prosecuted after dismissal.
There had been a series of similar staff auditing embarked upon by former administrations including the present government without any corresponding steps taken to indict those involved thus making all the steps taken an exercise in futility.
The latest staff auditing had just ended with suggestions from people of the State to the state Governor not to spare anyone involved in the latest salary racketeering to stop future occurrence.