Gost workers receiving salaries in Kwara LGs – AbdulRazaq

Kwara state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has revealed that some fake and ghost workers were on the pay roll of local governments in the state and are still receiving salaries monthly.

He also said the local governments in the state have over bloated work force and could not pay salaries without getting support from the state government.

Tne govenor said his administration had in the last two months supported local governments with a loan of N400 to N500 million monthly before they could pay 100 per cent salaries to huge numbers of staff recruited for political reasons.

The governor made the revellations in Ilorin when he received the Group 6 Senior Executives of Course 44, 2022 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru Jos, led by Dr. Emmanuel Sambo Mamman, who were on a courtesy visit to Government House Ilorin.

AbdulRazaq, who declared that his administration does not interfere in the runnings of the local government administration in the state, however insisted that its imperative to guide them (LGs) on administrative techniques and against misplacement of priorities, amidst their agitations for financial independence in the country.

“As a government we have a policy of non-interference. We believe in seperation of powers. The only interference we have with the local governments is to guide them on prioritization of their spendings, with payment of salaries as their first line charge,” he said.

“With the situation in the country and what we met after they pay salaries there is basically nothing left to the extent that in the last two months we have to be lending local governments #400 to #500 million per month to be able to pay 100 percent salary.”

He noted that local governments are today facing a big financial challenge because most of the councils had over-staffed for political reasons, and on the basis of undue interference by the previous administrations in the state.

“We know the scope and focuses of the local governments – primary healthcare, How did we find ourselves here, to a state where all their revenues both federal allocation and IGR go into paying salaries?

“If you go back to the beginning of this republic, salaries were accounted for below 50 percent of what local governments got. Some local governments were below 40 percent. That was the period you would see local government chairmen (in some parts of Nigeria) flying to Dubai and London, and the state governments too were trying to help them manage their funds by doing joint projects and helping them, basically interfering in their activities.

“In Kwara state in particular, 100 percent of the allocation for local government have been for payment of salaries. Theirs staff strength grew up because they employed people who are not supposed to be there – fake names, ghost workers were collecting salaries and are still collecting till todate,” he added.

AbdulRazaq also said a part of the local government money is going to wrong pockets, saying it requires more than using just BVN for the government to completely tackle the ghost workers syndrome in the local councils.

Leader of the team, Dr. Emmanuel Sambo Mamman, in his remarks, said their visit to Kwara was to ascertain the strength of local government council in the state, and the challenges they face in their operations.

He commended the governor for giving the local governments the needed support to thrive, even as he requested the government to guide the local councils on ways of improving their IGR to sustain them.