The Delta State Accountant General (AG), Mr. Cyril Agbele, and the Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Patrick Owigho, have been accused of using the names of ghost workers to defraud the State Government of billions of Naira.
The accusations were made by the sacked workers under the aegis of the Congress of Newly Employed Civil Servants in Delta State. This came in the form of a letter obtained by SaharaReporters and addressed to the State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, through the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). It was signed by by the Congress Chairman, Mr Regha Obukohwo, Secretary, Agba Okeme, and Mr. Nwokolo Henry.
The sacked workers challenged the statement that the State was broke and could not pay its workers and called for the immediate analysis of the State Accountant General and the Head of Service.
“We request the Delta State Accountant General and Head of Service to provide answers to high numbers of ghost workers under their watch and account for the Internally Generated Revenue of Delta State (IGR) which is over Seven Billion Naira Monthly. The claim of N12 Billion naira allocation for the month of May 2015 by the Delta State Government officials is that over N5 Billion was spent as salary.”
“Statistics shows that from 2010–2014 over 2,800 civil servants have retired from Delta State civil service and over 1,000 retirees had died since 2010. We call on the Accountant General of the Delta State and the Head of Service to provide answers to rising monthly wage bill of Delta State irrespective of the large number of people who have retired from service and those who have died since 2010.
"Subsidy Reinvestment Programme SURE-P fund should be made public for the good of Deltans. We equally want to know the total personal income tax of Delta State. Debt management office put the Delta State external debt profile at $15,785,110.00. This record puts Delta State at the third least indebted State in Nigeria. We question the claim of the Delta State government officials of using N5.2 billion to service its debt profile," the statement stressed.
The workers while demanding for the holistic probe of the State Civil Service with the intent of flushing out corrupt management staff and ghost workers from the system to open employment opportunities for Deltans, also urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to reconsider his decision and reverse the suspension placed on their employment.
"Many of us resigned from our previous jobs to pick up the civil service jobs with the intention of serving our State. We urge Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to direct HECKERBELLA LTD, the firm handling the N1.4 Billion Delta State Biometric Identification Payroll Automation Time and Attendance System (BIPATAS) project, to release its report on the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies they have already concluded Biometric report. HECKRBELLA is a firm contracted to fish out ghost workers from the Delta State Civil Service.
"Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was wrongly advised by the Accountant General and others that Delta State is bankrupt and could not afford to pay the newly employed civil servants. Records at our disposal shows that the last major recruitment into the Delta Civil Service was conducted in 2010, thus the immediate past Governor did what was right to recruit after five years. He did not have the intention of creating financial burden for the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.
“Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration intended to recruit 1,200 Civil Servants with an estimated average monthly wage put at N60, 000.00 per month amounts to N72 million with Delta State civil service retirement rate of 2,800 from 2010 to 2014 at an estimated average monthly salary of N60, 000.00 it amounts to a total N168 Million. With these records, the wage bill of Delta State civil service would drop by N96 Million after employing 1,200 new staff.
According to the sacked workers, a recent meeting held with the Head Of Service as directed by the State Governor on Monday, 8, 2015 was nothing but threats of intimidation, propagation of falsehood, blackmail, and sorry tales of the irredeemable financial bankruptcy of Delta State.