By Amos Aar
BENUE State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has said that funds for the payment of the much-anticipated May and June 2023 salaries of the state’s workers are intact, just as he revealed that the state government has commenced a forensic staff audit of local government councils in the state to ascertain the authentic workforce and wage bill at the third tier.
Governor Alia disclosed this at a meeting he held with Directors, General Services Administration (DGSAs) of local governments, Internal Auditors, SSG, Prof. Joseph Alakali, Head of Service, Mr Agbogbo Ode, Chief of Staff, Mr Paul Biam and the governor’s Principal Private Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Chenge.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Paul Biam, at the meeting which held on Tuesday at Government House, Makurdi, the governor explained that the state government was delaying payments of the May and June salaries to enable the administration to address financial mismanagement discovered in various reports received from councils, assuring that payment will commence as soon as payment vouchers (PVs) were purged of fraud.
The governor, through a correspondence signed by the Permanent Secretary, Government House Administration, Mr Moses Tor Leva, therefore requested the DGSAs to prepare and submit nominal rolls of workers in all councils to the office of the Permanent Secretary, Government House Administration within 48 hours for consideration. The submission ends today, June 6, 2023 according to the directive.
The correspondence indicated that the nominal rolls are to be prepared according to departments and duly signed by their heads, internal auditors and the DGSAs which will be used for the preparation and payment of June salaries.
The governor also directed the reversal of all promotions and yearly increments that were done as from March, 2023 while PVs for May and June 2023 should not include those promotions and yearly increment.
The letter further requested payments for March 2023 to be submitted for the purpose of reference and further action.
Responding on behalf of other principal officers for the councils, chairman, forum of internal auditors, Mr Peter Igyuve, pledged their cooperation to enable Alia’s administration reposition the councils to achieve higher productivity.