Responding to an article on the non-payment of local government workers’ salaries in Yobe State, the Yobe State government has clarified that it regularly pays local government employees their salaries, but there are exceptional cases in five local government areas where workers have not been paid.
In a press release signed by Abdullahi Bego, spokesman to Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Geidam, the government emphasized that it has never been indebted to state-level employees. However, the article to which the government penned its response never alleged such.
Mr. Bego also stressed that in the five affected local government areas - Fune, Fika, Potiskum, Nangere, and Bade - not all workers are owed salaries.
He explained, however, that certain workers in these LGAs have not been paid due to errors committed in a worker verification exercise carried out by the state government in an effort to weed out “ghost workers.”
“The first wave of verification exercises towards the end of 2015 didn’t go far enough and many genuine local government employees were found to be affected,” Mr. Bego said.
“Due to the fact that some genuine employees were recorded as ghosts in past verification exercises, the Geidam administration set up a second set of committees under Special Advisers to the Governor to undertake further verifications to ensure that salaries are paid only to genuine local government workers and to address issues with those genuine workers who were reckoned as ghost in previous exercises.”
These committees, he explained, have only just concluded their reports and have yet to submit them to the government. Once the reports are submitted, the government will be able to determine which workers were erroneously designated as “ghost workers.”
“The Yobe State Government assures all genuine local government employees in the five affected local government areas who were reckoned as ghosts that their issues will be re-visited as soon as the government receives the reports of the verification committees,” the statement concluded.