By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Poised to commence payment of the N30,000 new minimum wage this month, Sokoto state government says it has to embark on a realistic wide scale staff audit to verify and weed out ghost workers within its service.
This it said would also ensure that no child worker and bogus employment offers syndicates in the state system.
The dispassionate disclosure came from Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Thursday night at the signing and submission of the report by the state committee on the implementation of the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments.
The committee was established by the state government to thrash out the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments matter respectively .
However, the wage bill of the state according to a statement by Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the governor will now be above N324 million as against the sum of N340 million requested for by labour union collective in the state.
In the statement, Governor Tambuwal while announcing that his administration will commence implementation of the minimum wage from this month, disclosed that a meeting of the state executive council has been scheduled for Monday to consider the report.
According to him, ” the government is poised to embark on the verification of unscheduled staff and the sharp practise of sale of letters offers of employment to unwary citizens,” also stressing that “a situation where children are on the payroll of the government will not be condoned.”
Although, prior to the negotiation that ushered the new wage regime, the state government had discovered a disparity in the salary data between the state civil service commission, the ministry of finance and the the office of the head of service.
“This made me to look into the situation and we decided to harmonize all the data,” leading up to the taking of steps to introduce the issuance of payslips to workers, “a first in the history of the state,” Tambuwal explained.
However, while promising to pay workers owed backlogs of salary as a result of the meticulous process of the fiscal discipline measures embarked upon by the state government, Tambuwal hitherto, commended the labour collective and those on the government side who sat in the committee for their maturity, patience and patriotism to the people of the state.
In his remarks, the chairman of the minimum wage implementation, Alhaji Muhammad Namadina Abdulrahman, gave summarised suggestions of the committee to the state government as “salary and skills assessment of staff, decentralization of salary payments and the establishment of a revenue generation system by the state government.