By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Gombe State Executive Council has approved the sum of 1.499 billion Naira for the procurement and installation of biometric equipment for the State Integrated Payment Gateway and Human Resource Management System aimed at checkmating absenteeism in the civil service with a view to ascertaining the precise number of civil servants working and also to know the required workforce for fresh recruitment.
According to a statement signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the meeting, presided over by Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya also considered and approved over six hundred million naira for the renovation and remodelling of Bajoga General hospital in Funakaye local government area.
Briefing newsmen on other details of the meeting, the Commissioner of Information and Culture, Julius Ishaya Lapes said the Council equally deliberated and condemned in strong terms the communal clash between the Waja and Lunguda tribes of Balanga Local Government Area in which Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya wasted no time in visiting the affected communities and taking measures to forestall further escalation of violence.
The Commissioner of finance and economic development, Muhammad Gambo Magaji had while giving more insight on the procurement and installation of Biometric equipment for the State Integrated Payment Gateway and Human Resource Management System, said the measure was to check the excesses of civil servants who do not report to duties in their places of work.
He said it is common knowledge that some civil servants stay in other towns and cities across the country but receive monthly salaries of the Gombe State Government without justification, explaining that the Biometric system will put a stop to such practices and give Government value for its spendings.
The Commissioner said when fully installed, the system will eliminate imaginary workers and save a substantial amount of money for the State government to use in other areas of needs.
“The biometric system was piloted in Gombe LGA and about 23 million naira was realized as left over, the same way the biometric assisted in uncovering nearly 700 ghost pensioners on the state payroll over the years. These 2 factors encouraged state government to opt for the biometric system”.
Also Speaking in specific terms on a matter discussed at Council which falls under the purview of his Ministry, the Commissioner of Water Resources, Mijinyawa Yahaya said the State Government has carried out a feasibility study with a view to expanding the supply of water to areas that have not been covered with taps.
He said the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya will soon come up with taskforce that will not only encourage the citizens of the State to pay for services they enjoy, but also compel those who are in the habit of evading the payment of utilities to comply.
He said in view of the present economic crunch, the State Government can no longer afford to spend about 1 billion in annual budget for the provision of water without a commensurate payment of water bills by the consumers.
“Plans are also underway to install meters so as to gauge the water consumption of our clients in a way that each client pays what he consumes”
The Commissioner of Housing had equally told newsmen that Council approved over six hundred million naira for the renovation and remodelling of Bajoga General hospital and subsequently general Hospitals in Kaltungo and Kumo in Akko LGA may have similar Council’s approval in the next sitting.
He said it is the intention of the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to reposition the health sector for better and effective service delivery.