The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress Zamfara State Chapter Comrade Bashir Mafara has declared that Zamfara State Finance Commissioner is only in charge of the State treasury but does not have the statutory power to suspend the salary of the any state civil servant.
“The rule is clear, Finance Commissioner is the Cheif Financial Adviser and someone in charge of state treasury while the Head of civil service is in charge of human resource of the state so one cannot cross the border of another one unless in mutual synergy”.
Mafara further said only the State Head of Service has the power by law to order for the suspension of the Civil Servant Salary and it should be based on statutory procedures adding that the state labour union would follow it up to make sure that genuine civil servants whose salaries were suspended have their names restored on the state payroll.
Bashir Mafara who declared the recent suspension of August 2020 salary of some state civil servants by Zamfara State Finance Commissioner as lacking in power said if proper consultation is made with the office of the Head of Service and other relevant stakeholders this type of mess up where salaries of over 2,600 civil servants were suspended by the finance ministry would have been avoided.
“The data verification exercise by the state ministry of finance resulted to the suspension of the salary of over 2,600 civil servants and fortunately for the finance Commissioner some of those he suspended their salaries are genuine civil servants but have one issue or the other with their data update forms which need to be rectified but instead of alarting the stakeholders the Commissioner for reason best known to him ordered for the suspension of their salaries”
He noted that, the state government has already constituted a monitoring committee sadled with the responsibility of making sure that all those civil servants with genuine cases are issued with their forms and areas where they should make the necessary amendment and return their forms for ratification.
“We are not saying all the over 2,600 civil servants are genuine but we have faulted the process and the State Head of Service should have been carried along by the Finance Ministry so that appropriate procedure would be followed before such a conclusion is reached” Mafara added.
On the allegations by the Finance Commissioner that names of dead people re-surfaces on the state payroll, Mafara said he wondered what the essence of digitalization in financial management meant for if someone who died seven years back can still be retained on the state payroll adding that he is not surprise but even if there are instances like that they are very unique.