GOVERNMENT OF NASARAWA STATE
Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, theGovernor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of the Commencement ofBiometric Screening Exercise for Public Servants on the Nasarawa StatePayroll, Lafia: Monday, 7th July, 2014.
Picture Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura performing a symbolic
capture of the bio-metric and screening exercise of the civil servant
in Government House, Lafia
1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;2. The Right Honorable Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;3. The Honorable Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;4. The Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal;5. The President, Customary Court of Appeal;6. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;7. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;8. The Secretary to the State Government;9. The Head of Civil Service;12. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);14. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;15. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils present;16. Directors of Personnel Management of Development Areas; It is my pleasure to address you today on the occasion of theCommencement of Biometric Screening Exercise for public servants onThe payroll of the Government of Nasarawa State taking place here inIt would be recalled that when this Administration came into officein May, 2011, it inherited a public service whose morale was generallylow. This was as a result of poor remuneration and lack of sundryIncentives to public servants. Concerned by this situation, thisAdministration quickly set the machinery in place to carry out abiometric screening of the State public servants. The exercise wasaimed at ascertaining the size of the Service, eliminating the ghostWorkers syndrome and improving productivity for efficient serviceIt is important to note that the biometric screening exercisethat Government carried out in 2011 was done amidst the debate overthe new national minimum wage introduced by the Federal Government atthe time. Satisfied by the result of the exercise, therefore, I didnot hesitate to approve the implementation of N18,900 minimum wage forcivil servants in the State. In doing so, Government was determined toStimulate dedication, hardwork, accountability, as well as eliminateI am happy to state that Nasarawa is still among the few StatesCurrently implementing the minimum wage in the country. This isdespite our very lean financial purse vis-?-vis competing developmentneeds. I also need to state that following the implementation of theMinimum wage, the salary bill of the Nasarawa State public service hasshot up astronomically above N2 Billion. This has, no doubt, added tothe plethora of challenges that we face in our development endeavor.Ladies and gentlemen, you are aware of the unprecedented securityChallenges that we had to contend with in the recent past. Added tothis, demands for increase in workers? welfare, includingImplementation of promotion and annual increment, have continued tobloat Government expenditure. Indeed, the high rate of exit from theService due to retirement and death, among other reasons, suggeststhat there should be a drop in the salary bill.It is worthy to note, however, that public servants retire fromactive to passive service with their wages. This means as pensions andgratuities rise, salaries should decrease. Sadly, this is not so, asboth salaries and pensions continue to increase out of proportion,thus constituting a heavy wage burden on Government. As a consequence,Government is unable to meet labour demands, employ more hands intothe Service, as well as satisfy other socio-economic obligations.It is in this connection that this biometric screening exercise isbeing carried out to identify genuine employees of Government and weedLet me point out that this exercise is not intended as a witch-huntor punishment for the workforce. I, therefore, enjoin the leadershipof the organized labour to accord this exercise maximum cooperation. Iurge you to mobilize workers to avail themselves for this importantAt this juncture, I commend our partners, Skye Bank Nigeria Plc,for keying into the development objectives of this Administration asDemonstrated by the provision of free service for this exercise. Wethank you for living up to your corporate social responsibility. Iassure you that, as a Government, we shall continue to explore areasof collaboration with you for the overall development of our belovedOn this note, it is my pleasure to commence the biometric