Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya-led government of Gombe State has withheld the payment of salaries of 781 workers over their absenteeism.
The erring workers were mentioned when the state government was implementing Biometric Attendance Verification for Civil Servants in the state on Friday, October 29.
A statement made available to newsmen by the state commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Muhammad Gambo Magaji, revealed that the workers were penalized for being absent from work in the month of September.
The commissioner disclosed further that another 820 workers were to be investigated, adding that the state government saved N50 million from the suspension of salaries of the affected workers for the month.
He, however, noted that the 820 staff with salaries amounting to N56 million are to be investigated but would earn their salaries for the month after serious scrutiny.
Magaji said “The grand total for the month of September for both suspensions and investigations; number of staff is 1, 601 with salaries amounting to N106, 935, 152.”
The ministry had captured in the new biometric system all the workers in the 11 Local Government Areas of the state.
The government, however, noted that opportunities would be given to those that missed the biometric attendance to get enrolled.
Magaji added that those that missed the exercise would now have until Nov. 11 to get their data captured, the final opportunity for workers to get enrolled if not captured.
The commissioner noted that the first batch of the biometric machine had arrived and would be deployed. He added that by the end of November, all machines would have arrived and deployed across the state.
“The data capture machines which would be used to take the attendance, expected to be deployed across the state are about 4, 000,” Magaji said.
He further stated that at the end of the mop up on Nov. 11, all workers’ employment details would have been captured as the data would help the state in planning.
“With the data, we will be able to check and know who is who and it will also help us in deployment of staff to relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies. We will know if we have gaps to fill after we have been able to weed out the so called ghost workers.Of course the space provided, government will look at it and ensure that our youths roaming the street are gainfully employed and paid from the money that we have been losing over these years,” he said.