Sule suspends directors in 13 councils for inflating salary figures

By Linus Oota, Lafia  

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule has directed the suspension of directors of personnel management (DPMs) and directors of finance and supplies (DFS) in 13 local governments.

Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs spokesman Alhaji Adamu Shigafarta said the directive came through the Local Government Service Commission.

The suspension order, according to Shigafarta, affects the DPMs and DFS of the 18 development areas for three months.

He said the council officials were suspended because they refused to work with the directive of the committee set up by the government to investigate the discrepancies and high wage bills incurred by the local governments.

Shigafarta said local government workers were audited over some abnormalities, adding that the government decided to use April 2012 payment vouchers to get to the root of the fraud.

“Council salaries as at 2012 was N1.1 billion, but now that there are no employment, promotions, people died, some retired, while others left for greener pasture, from nowhere local government salaries skyrocketed to N1.3 billion monthly.

“That was why two months ago, the state government constituted a committee headed by the 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, over N600 million was remaining; so they directed local governments 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 complaint, they should be forwarded to the committee for ratification, but they refused; they held payment of salaries to ransom. That was why the government directed that they be suspended,” he said.