The State Ministry of Finance has kicked off a biometric re-validation of workers in the employ of the state government to update their records with the ministry for the purpose of effective salary, pension, and other emoluments administration.
The Ministry launched the exercise at the Government House, Damaturu today with His Excellency Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam and his deputy, Engr. Abubakar D. Ali being the first to be biometrically re-validated.
Finance Commissioner Alhaji Muhammad Ismaila Nguru, who briefed the governor on the exercise, said its objective is to update worker records using the latest technology and ensure that those records are available and trackable in real time.
“Your Excellency, we are partnering Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) which has opened a BVN window for this exercise. The exercise will be fully digital and less cumbersome and we will use the BVN numbers of workers and pair the information with what is in our records.
“While the information is updated in the process, no worker in Nigeria whether at the federal, state or local level would be able to collect more than one salary at any given time”, the commissioner said.
Alhaji Samaila Nguru said the exercise would not disrupt work-flow in government ministries, agencies and departments as the consultants engaged in the job will visit designated workplace locations, including some local government headquarters one after another to enroll and re-validate the workers.
In his remarks, H.E Gov. Gaidam commended the Finance Ministry for the initiative.
He said the last time that a major biometric exercise for government workers was carried out was ten years ago in 2008.
“I want to commend the initiators of this exercise – the commissioner of finance and his able team. I could recall that this exercise was last done in 2008. At the end of the exercise, which was meant to stamp out ghost workers, the salary bill increased rather than decreased…
“The second biometric done was much better where almost all the ghost workers were flushed out. The salary bill dropped to an acceptable level. As at now, I don’t think we have any ghost workers in the Ministry of Finance payroll.
“Even so, my expectation is that after this exercise is concluded, we will not have any ghost workers even in the future. We are going to get a final, pure and clean salary figure”, the governor said.
The governor added that after a successful completion of the exercise at the state level, it will be extended to the local government level to help the local councils reap its benefits as well