Benue State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr David Olofu has revealed that the engagement of SystemSpecs’ Remita in managing the state’s salary payment has helped rid the payroll of fraud. He also apologised to workers in the state for the shortfalls witnessed in the payment of their January salaries.
Olofu made these statements, while speaking with newsmen yesterday in the state capital, Makurdi.
He 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.
Recall that, about N3.5billion salary fraud was uncovered on the Benue State Civil Service payroll following a verification exercise to ascertain the over bloated wage of the state.
Earlier in the month, during a hearing at the states’ House of Assembly, the consultants, SystemSpecs also revealed that 500 duplicate names and over 20 duplicate Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) were uncovered through their robust software.
Olofu says, “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 said that the Federal Government was presently using its platform, Remita for the payment of its workers’ salaries.
Olofu insisted 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.’
A total of six states including Kano, Zamfara, and Benue have adopted Remita in their payroll management strategy. At the federal level, the smooth running of the Treasury Singly Account (TSA) is also facilitated by the Remita platform.