By Danjuma Joseph Lafia
Nasarawa State Government has directed the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), to send all the Directors of Personal Management (DPMs) and Directors of Finance and Supplies (DFS) in the 13 local governments and 18 development areas to go on indifinite suspension for three months.
The suspension order was issued to the top council officials to enable the state auditor general pay salaries owed local government staffs for three months.
Public relations officer in the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu Shigafarta, disclosed the development to our correspondent yesterday in Lafia.
Shigarfata, said the council officials were suspended because they refused to work with directive of the a committee set up by government to investigate the discrepancies and high wage bills incured by local governments.
He said all local government staff were audited over some abnormalities, so government decided to use April 2012 payment vouchers to get to the roots of the fraud.
“Local Government salaries as at 2012 was 1.1 billion naira, but now that there were no employment, promotions, people died, some retired, while others left for greener pastures job, from no where local government salaries skirocated to 1.3 billion naira monthly”
“That’s was why two months ago, the state government decided to constitute a committee headed by the state Accountant General, auditor general, permanent secretary, three chairmen and director in the ministry, to look into the problem”
“The committee after investigation discovered that after payment of salaries and other entitlements, the sum of over 600 million naira was remaining; so they directed all councils to go back and pay salaries with 2012 payment vouchers, but the DFS refused”
“From the ministry they were directed to use 2012 payment vouchers to pay salaries and if there is any genuine complains, they should be forwarded to the committee for ratification, but they refused; they held payment of salaries to ransom, that is why government directed that they be suspended” he said.