The Benue State commissioner for Finance and economic planning, Mr David Olofu has stated that Finance technology solutions provider, Remita has not received any payment for using its platform to pay salaries, apart from the normal banking charges.
Mr Olofu made the statement while speaking to correspondents last week. He apologised to workers in the state for the shortfalls witnessed in the payment of their January salaries.
“We are not paying them anything for using their platform to pay salaries, only the normal banking services, the other aspects of the services are going on well except salary payment.’’ Olofu said.
Olofu further said that said that the decision to engage SystemSpecs, the consultancy firm that provided the platform for the salary payment, was to enable the state clean up its payroll of fraud.
“It is painful to me as commissioner for Finance to start something that I think will bring relief to us as a state. To me, it is important to look at what we have as against the solution we are presenting and to also look at the agreement and see if there is any shady deal. SystemSpecs did not come from heaven, they have been recommended,’’ he said.
He reinstated his earlier position that the payment of salaries needed a platform regardless of whether the payroll was prepared by civil servants or not.
“We must always use a platform for the payment of workers’ salaries, before this time, we were using the U-pay platform from UBA. When we came in, we discovered that salaries were paid through the UBA platform but the system had many problems, which included duplication of names and we wanted to find out where the problems were coming from.”
“We agreed in the ministry to do a trial with Zenith Bank to see if the challenges were as a result of normal banking problems or were caused by civil servants, that trial exposed a lot of issues including duplication of names on the payroll.”
Recall that earlier in the month, a story had appeared in the media, alleging that the Remita payroll system had omitted some key names under the Benue state payroll and that the state government had paid ‘Remita consultants’ N140 million.