Okowa decries N7bn monthly wage bill, pension fraud in Delta

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has cried out over the state government’s monthly salary bill.

Okonwa says the N7 billion monthly wage is outrageous, as the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is low.

The Governor, speaking at a town hall meeting in Oleh in Isoko axis of the state, states that the continuous payment of the huge wage bill is impossible unless the workforce is screened.

He also expressed concern over the suspected massive fraud in the payment of pension.

The governor stated that the workforce will undergo verification to enable the state government to know the actual number of staff on its payroll.

He said, “I am deeply worried over the huge monthly salaries and wage bills which have greatly slowed down our service delivery to the people. It is not funny at all. We are taking the issue of staff audit very seriously so that we are able to know the exact number of people working and where they are.
‘We cannot continue to pay huge wage bills without conducting a verification exercise. It is a task that must be done and the LGAs must also do likewise so that they too can save some money for infrastructure and socio-economic development of the communities within their constitutional responsibilities.
“You are aware that some states already discovered serious frauds through staff audit, and the rescued funds are now being deployed into productive ventures, particularly infrastructure and human capital development. Delta State will not be left out.
“Another area of huge financial leakage is pensions funds payment and I am told that monumental fraud is ongoing. We shall deploy strategies to unearth the fraud so that whatever is saved can be applied towards the overall development of our state.
“We have set up a committee to look into the pensions fraud issue and I recently directed that representatives from the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) should be included for the sake of transparency and to avoid unnecessary insinuations and protests.”

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