By Friday Idachaba
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi has said that the state government would save up to N10 billion annually which would have gone to fraudulent civil servants as salary.
Bello said the recently concluded staff screening and verification exercise was a huge success and assured all those verified of prompt payment of their salaries and pension.
The governor, who spoke at the inauguration of the Nigerian Army Forward Operation Base at Achoze in Okene Local Government, said the gains of the exercise would become more visible in months to come.
According to him, civil servants who were successfully cleared during the exercise could attest that their salaries and arrears were being paid.
”We are determined to give them a future in which wages are promptly paid for work actually done.
”Even our detractors cannot deny that the exercise has strengthened our civil service; it will ultimately save Kogi at least N10 billion annually”, he said.
Bello assured that the government would not shirk its responsibilities to 97 per cent of the state population who were non civil servants.
He said the administration would provide necessary infrastructure to uplift the state, adding that it was also focused on unlocking opportunities in the tourism sector.
The governor pledged to transform Kogi from the ”white collar tag of civil service state into blue overalls of an agrarian, industrial and commercial hub.”
He commended the courage and integrity of security agencies in the state for changing the ”evil narrative of insecurity in Kogi to good.”
The governor recalled that the state was helplessly in the grip of terrorists, kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists at the inception of his administration about 18 months ago.
Bello, however, noted that efforts of security agencies have brought about peace and security which encouraged fresh investments into the state.
”Already, our expatriate community has grown from 73 when we arrived Government House to over 180 expatriates living and working in the state.” (NAN)