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Delta State Owes Councils N8.4billion Salaries And Arrears, Searches For Ghost Workers

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, April 22, (THEWILL) – THEWILL has been informed that the Delta state government is currently battling with the backlog of salaries and arrears owned to local government workers running into a whopping sum of N8.4billion naira.

Sources told THEWILL that the backlog, which have been accumulating from the third quarter of 2014, increased after Governor Ifeanyi Okowa allegedly reneged in the state government systemic augmentation of the council’s wage bills.

It was not clear what could have led to the policy overhaul by the Okowa-led administration, but sources said that paucity of funds in the state and decline in monthly allocations from the federal government to the state and councils was responsible.

Credible Government House sources added that the shortfall to the local councils allocation were usually augmented by the previous administration by N700million monthly for the 25 local councils, translating to about N28million per council but the Okowa administration had stopped the policy.

THEWILL learnt that from the last bailout fund released by the federal government to the states, of which Delta state benefited, what the councils got from the state government was only able to clear three months salaries arrears on the average.

The sources disclosed that the wage bills of the councils are put purportedly at N55million, meaning that the monthly wage bill of the 25 local government is N1.35billion, cumulatively, this translates that the councils are indebted to workers to the tune of N8.415billion naira as at March 2016,

The state government, according to sources is currently searching for ghost workers around the local councils through its biometric data capturing exercise as part of government effort to mitigate the burden of backlog of debt owned the councils.

It could be recalled that Governor Okowa had few weeks ago raised the alarm over ghost working in the state civil service following a purported report by committee conducting biometric exercise across all sector of the state.

The governor had specifically during a meeting with public secondary school principals across the State revealed that 28 strange names, 38 dead principals, and 15 retired or absconded teachers are still on the payroll of the State government.

Story by David Oputah