[Nigeria] Zamfara Government Will Arraign 108 Civil Servants Over Double Salaries

The Zamfara Government intends to take 108 civil servants to court. The workers are alleged to have taken a double salary from different ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the state, The Guardian reports.

Alhaji Rabi’u Garba - Zamfara’s Commissioner for Finance - broke the news at a Sunday press briefing in Gusau. Mr Garba said that the irregularities came to light during the ongoing ministry of finance investigation of workers’ salary issues.

Mr Garba went on to explain that the investigation - under Governor Bello Matawalle’s leadership - was not intended as a witch hunt, but to ensure sanity in the civil service payroll in the state.

“The affected workers found collecting more than one salary at different MDAs were among the 4,972 civil servants who were suspended from receiving salary for the month of December 2019 as a result of various irregularities.

“We discovered these irregularities from the payroll of November 2019 salary in the state. We have suspended the affected workers from collecting salary until we conclude the investigation,” the finance commissioner said.

Mr Garba explained that the 108 workers found to be taking a double salary would be handed over to the state’s ministry of justice for prosecution. “We also found 109 workers whose official names are different from the names of their salary accounts,” he continued, “We discovered irregularities from 1,640 workers whose account numbers are not found in the CBN server.”

“There are also 485 workers who are supposed to have gone on retirement but are still collecting a salary. In fact, one of them is 119 years old but still collecting a salary. We also suspended the salary of 1,548 workers receiving salary under micro-finance banks because of various irregularities.

“We have directed them to their MDAs for proper clearance,” he said.

According to Mr Garba Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara, Arabic and Female Education Boards, Establishment and Hospital Service Management Board are among the MDAs involved in the Zamfara salary irregularities. “We have suspended the directors of finance of all the affected MDAs,” he said.

The commissioner reportedly asked state workers to be patient about any inconveniences caused by the verification exercise. Mr Garba said anyone in need of clarification on the matter should visit the state ministry of finance in Gusau.