By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Mr Gbenga Olorunpomi, the Senior Special Assistant on Electronic Media to Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, has said that the State Government was not owing salaries of civil servants.
Olorunpomi told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the government had paid the salaries of all workers cleared by the recently concluded civil servants verification exercise.
“This government came to power at the time civil servants were on strike; the issue that led to the strike was that of the salaries owed to the workers for many months.
“At that time, all schools in the state were shut down; the government of Gov. Yahaya Bello then decided that the only way to tackle this was to do total civil service verification.
“In the process, we found out that the state had plenty issues; about 83,000 personnel were withdrawing salaries from the state and this is a state that is barely 25 years old.
“So there was need to do an audit to find out how we got to the situation where there were more senior than junior level civil servants; it was lopsided,” he said.
According to the aide, the issues necessitated the civil service reform which is part of the five cardinal programmes of the government.
The others, he said, are security, education, job creation and agriculture.
Olorunpomi said the exercise had been completed and the state now has a civil service that the government can manage.
“All persons that were cleared by whatever committee that was set up at the time were paid.
“We got our bailout fund to do this, we used the resources that came in from FAC allocation and we have been paying salaries since then.
“Whatever noise we are hearing now is either by those who are yet to be cleared or those who have benefited from the system of inefficiency in the past.
“Anyone who has been certified cleared has been paid salary.
“To prove our point, we published the names and amounts paid to all workers, ministries, departments and agencies in the state’s website, http://www.kogistate.gov.ng.
“The website will show you all the amount of monies paid to workers as salaries, pension and other entitlements since the inception of this government in January 2016 to date.
“As I speak with you now, Kogi state is moving ahead to a better future,” he said.