By Huseyn Mbar
Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State said the state government would introduce whistleblowing in the state to fight corruption in its local government councils.
Abubkar made this known when he addressed workers at May Day celebration in Bauchi on Monday.
He described corruption at the local government level as “endemic”, and said that something must be done to check it.
Abubakar said that some top officials of councils in the state were still harbouring ghost workers in spite of several staff verifications conducted by his administration at the third-tier of government.
“Any worker that reveals to me in secrecy how many ghost workers are being harboured by some top functionaries will be rewarded.
“To rid the councils of corruption, we must stand up since the staff verification has failed to yield fruits while millions of naira is being siphoned through dubious act.
“Workers who reveal such shady deals will be rewarded with money and immediate promotion,” he said.
Abubakar said that his administration had set up a committee to review the 60-year-old state civil service rules and other regulations on labour.
He said that his administration was committed to prompt payment of salaries and other entitlements to workers in the state.
He assured that hardworking workers would be rewarded while indolent ones would be punished, saying that the government was committed to workers’ welfare.
The governor urged the workers to rededicate themselves to the services of the state and promised to introduce innovations that would better the life of workers in the state.
Earlier in his address, Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Mr Hashimu Gital, had called on the Federal Government to hasten the approval of a new minimum wage.
Gital said that the N18, 000 National Minimum Wage achieved through tripartite committee in 2011 was no longer tenable because of prevailing recession.
He said that the purchasing power of Nigerian workers was greatly diminishing due to high inflation.
Gital, therefore, urged the National Committee on New Minimum Wage to hasten its work and ensure that it was guided by current economic realities in its recommendation.
He called on the state government to settle over N15 billion gratuity arrears owed public service, including local government, retirees in the state.
The chairman also called on the state government to restore other charges to agencies and leave transport grant for the benefit of the workers.
He commended the state government for settling the salary arrears of workers in the state.