The Taraba state Executive Council has resolved to end the lingering salary crisis of Local Government Staff and Primary Schools Teachers in the state.
This was disclosed to Government House Press Crew shortly after the end of the weekly meeting of the Council, which was chaired by the state Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku at the Exco Chamber Jalingo.
The Honourable Commissioner of Education, Johannes Njigem, Secretary to the state Government SSG, Hon. Anthony Jellason, Chairman, Taraba state Universal Basic Education Board TSUBEB, Hon. Yakubu Agbaizo, the state Auditor General, Mr. Polycarp Iranus and the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mallam Bello Yero who briefed the Press, said the Exco dwelled on the need to get over with the salary saga in its totality.
First to speak was the Commissioner of Education, Hon. Johannes Njigem who said the State Exco has spoken with one voice on the issue of salaries of primary school teachers and local governments workers, explaining that, adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that the processes of ascertaining genuine teachers and local government staff is completed soonest.
Johannes Njigem appealed to primary schools teachers and local government workers to be patient as the Biometrics exercise is almost completed and that all genuine staff of local government and primary schools teachers will be paid their salaries.
On his part, the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Hon. Anthony Jellason stated that, “at different levels and time the state Government had set up committees, but lamented that, most of the committees failed in meeting up with the set goals, rather than correcting the anomaly, it worsen, making the payment of salaries to genuine workers cumbersome”.
Anthony Jellason explained that some of the problems encountered during the ongoing Biometrics were the issues of inconsistencies in BVN and names mismatch, pointing out that, if all these are not corrected, it would be difficult to come up with an authentic list of genuine staff in all the local government areas as well as teachers in the primary schools.across the state.
He revealed that some of the inconsistencies have been identified and corrected assuring that any moment from now, those that have not been paid would be paid their salaries, explaining that, the present administration is determined to come up with an authentic documentation of all workers across the state, and appealed to all the head masters to assist the committee in fishing out ghost workers for the betterment of the teachers and the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bello Yero stated that, the Biometrics which is being carried out by the United Bank for Africa UBA is at its final stage and solicited for more understanding from all the staff of the 16 council areas, saying that, Government is not unmindful of their plight, stressing that the exercise was not meant to cause hardship or punished them, but, to sanitise the salary system.
He stressed that, there is a serious rot in the payment of salaries at the local government and revealed that, the present administration is determined to correct the situation to make it more vibrant and result oriented.
Bello Yero posited that Government will not afford to fold its arms and allow the sharp practices to continue, as was the case in the past and asserted that any staff of local Government that has been genuinely employed and with requisite documents to back up, need not to be afraid of the ongoing Biometrics.
The permanent Secretary who disclosed that the exercise started in June last year across the 16 LGAs, noted that as at 2016, there were 34,000 local Government staff on the payroll and 30,044 staff have already been verified and cleared and said the latest report from UBA Bank indicates that additional 2000 staff have again been cleared bringing the total of those cleared to over 32,000.
He maintained that any local Government staff that has not been paid has issues bothering on BVN, PV numbers, wrong account digits and names mismatch and encouraged staff of local Governments and Primary school Teachers to be a little bit patient as their salaries will soon be paid to them.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Taraba State Universal Basic Education Board TSUBEB, Hon. Yakubu Agbaizo who said the Governor is worried over the non completion of the Biometrics exercise added that, efforts are being intensified with a view to ending the salary problem.
Yakubu Agbaizo said an agreement has already been reached with the bank to set up desk offices for the purpose of speeding up the processes of correcting BVN, accounts and names mismatch and other problems identified during the Biometrics.
The TSUBEB Chairman asserted that Biometrics is now the practice globally used in blocking leakages and said Taraba state would not be an exception, explaining that, it has helped tremendously in identifying ghost workers and persons with fake appointment letters and called on the general public to desist from buying such fake appointment letters.
He further revealed that, already security agents have been drafted to track down the syndicates involved in the sales of fake employment letters, stating categorically that the Primary Board does not sale employment letters, noting that those with such fake employment letters could not indicate their places of work and even headteachers of places some of them are claiming, do not know them.
Hon. Yakubu Agbaizo however appealled for restraint from those that know that they are genuine teachers as efforts are being made to pay them their salaries as no genuinely employed teacher would be left unattended.
Similarly, the State Auditor General, Polycarp Iranus said the Biometrics is not only meant for primary schools teachers and Local Government employees alone, saying that every employee of Government in the state has undergone the Biometrics screening exercise.
Polycarp Iranus maintained that the exercise is in the best interest of the people of the state aimed at blocking leakages and wastages as it would also afford Government the opportunity to plan on how best to go about its policies and programmes that would be beneficial to the people of the State.
The State Auditor General stressed that the exercise is to fish out ghost workers and to free the resources of the State from those acquiring them fraudulently.