Kudos, Knocks Trail Abia Govt Staff Audit And Verification Exercise Across Ministries, Parastatals

Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba

In a bid to have an accurate data on the strength of workers in its employment, their wage bills and possible fault lines within the system, the Abia State government on Tuesday July 4, 2023 commenced staff audits and verification in various ministries and parastatals.

NewsCritic online reports that although the exercise cut across all government agencies, the focal point remains certain key parastatals like the Abia State Polytechnic Aba, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, College of Health all in Aba. Also is Abia State University Uturu, College of Education Technical Arochukwu and Hospital Management Board, HMB etc.

The verification/Staff audit NewsCritic online gathered will afford government a first-hand information on the true staff strength of the agencies, their wage bills which government appears not to be comfortable with, their revenue profiles and potentials and the possible ways of blocking leakages.

However, as at the time of reporting last Thursday July 6, it was not yet clear if the exercise which is being overseen by the State’s Board of Internal Revenue, BIR, will also look into cases of alleged unjust and politically motivated retrenchment exercises that hit most of the concerned establishments during the immediate past regime of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. At Abia Polytechnic, no fewer than 300 staffers were between 2019 and 2021 retrenched under a very cloudy circumstance.

Although officials handling the exercise will not want to be drawn into any statement, a source close to them  told NewsCritic online that for now their main focus is to examine the records and interact with major stakeholders with a view to coming up with a workable and efficient module that will add value to the system.

“Our mission is to find out the staff strength, accurate wage bills, revenue profiles and potentials of the establishments. Part of the problems in the system has been leakages and waste. Government want to identify areas of waste and ensure that there is proper accounting system. This will ensure that all levies, fees and other accruals do not continue to go into private pockets. As the exercise goes on, we may have to address any other observed fault lines, “the source stated.

However, palpable fear and apprehensions among staff have continued to trail the exercise with not a few suspecting that it may turn out to be a smokescreen to further compound the plights of the workers.

Some of the workers who spoke with NewsCritic online also expressed disappointment with the whole exercise, describing it as not being different from the time buying strategy of the past regimes. 

“This ongoing verification by my calculations should be at least the 20th in the last 8 years. The past regime adopted these tactics to evade its responsibilities to us. Now, what we had expected is that even if you want to embark on this kind of exercise, you should first ensure that we are paid at least one-month salary. I don’t see any difference between what is happening now and what has been happening before;” a worker said.

You may have missed

Leave a Comment