Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has inaugurated the Table Payment Committee also known as “Pay Parade” to commence in earnest the payment of salaries to all cleared civil servants in Kogi State.
Governor Bello who inaugurated the committee on Monday in Government House, Lokoja, said there was every need for the government to know the exact number of civil servants on its payroll and to also identify and address the issue of cleared and yet to be paid workers.
He said the effort will put an end to the issue of civil servants cleared and not paid, adding that his request for table payment was mainly to ensure no genuine civil servant was left unpaid.
“Discharge your duties diligently and with the fear of God. Do the right thing, no preferential treatments, favour no one above the other. Let’s effect accountability. We have come a long way in sanitizing the system. I commend the organized labour and every genuine civil servant for their patients,” he added.
According to the Governor, the government out of transparency and accountability, has always declared and published the exact amount of every fund that entered the state treasury, since inception.
“On assumption of office, the government applied to access the bailout funds to defray salaries owed workers by the previous government and when the first phase of the money which was N20b came, in agreement with labour, N10b was given to clear the salaries of state workers, while another N10b was released to pay local government workers, and the utilization was published in our national dailies.”
Governor Bello said upon the release of Paris refund, out of the magnanimity of President Muhammudu Buhari, the government again reached an agreement with labour to clear salaries with seventy percent of the total sum received.
While assuring civil servants that his administration will continue to place utmost priority on the welfare of the workers, Governor Bello added that the issue of salaries in the state will soon become a thing of the past with the current effort.
In his remarks, the Kogi State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka commended Governor Bello for his transparency in addressing the issue of workers welfare.
Comrade Edoka said the union will give the governor the necessary support to ensure the last tranche of the bailout funds which is a little above N30b be released to the state to help settle all entitlements owed civil servants.
“This union I must say, is impressed with your level of sincerity. All the amounts declared by your government is in consonant with what we have. Anything it will cost us as a union to support you, to enable you access the last batch of the bailout funds, we are ready so as to ensure that, all workers are paid and everyone is happy.”
Members of the committee are; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Arike Ayoade Folashade who will serve as the chairperson, the Head of Service, Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola, Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Idris Asiwaju, the Director General, Government House Administration, Alhaji Oricha Shaibu, the DG Bureau and Grassroot Mobilisation, Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, Barrister Moses Okezie, and Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim are all members.
Others are; Alhaji Usman Ochidi, Hon. Ibrahim Odoma, Comrade Onu Edoka, Comrade Akeji Aaron and Comrade Runti Ojo.
According to a Social Media Influencer, Kogi Rebel, he says the Table Payment system would put to rest the actual internal corruption that has made it practically cumbersome to determine the actual wage bill as the civil service system is so corrupt that those who failed the screening in the past paid bribes ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 to be reabsored to the payroll, there making the average 3.2BN which comes to Kogi as monthly allocation insufficient to pay a wage bill that hovers around 3.1, 2.6 or 2.8B due civil service corruption.
He opined that if workers appear physically with presentation of the employment letters, Identity Cards before the issuance of Cheques to clear their salaries after their liabilities and other loans have been deducted, it would settle the issue of those shortchanging the system through bank alerts and also making every effort of the Governor in other areas of infrastructure and security look jejune in the face of his challenges.
Table Payment involves physical appearance by civil servants to collect their salaries by Cheques after presentation of their employment letter and I.D cards in order to know the actual workers on the state Government’s wage bill.