The Federal Government and 10 other states lost over N538bn to thousands of ghost workers in the last five years




The Federal Government and 10 other states lost over N538bn to thousands of ghost workers in the last five years, investigations have revealed. Of the amount, the Federal Government paid N220bn to 103,000 ghost workers between September 2013 and May 2015.
 The remaining N318bn was paid by 10 states of the federation. The states are:

Katisna, N30bn;

Kano, N17bn;

Rivers, N60;

Benue, N10.2bn;

Oyo, N18bn;

Abia, N26.5bn;

Adamawa, N20.4bn;

Akwa-Ibom, N15bn;

Bayelsa, N120bn and

Ekiti, N1.2bn.

A breakdown of the amount showed that the sum of N170bn involving 60,000 ghost workers was saved during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, while the balance of N50bn, involving 43,000 ghost workers, was saved between February and May this year.The sum of N45bn was saved between September 2013 and May 2015 when Jonathan’s administration implemented the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System.
The IPPIS scheme is one of the Federal Government’s initiatives designed to undertake human resource management activities from recruitment to separation, including payroll and pension processing. It also facilitates  planning, aids budgeting, monitors monthly payment of staff emoluments against what was provided forin the budget; ensures database integrity; facilitates easy storage; updating and retrieval of personnel records for administrative and pension processes. The immediate past Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had said that those using ghost workers to steal from thegovernment payroll had been referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for further investigation and possible prosecution. She had said, “60,000 ghost workers were weeded out, which saved government about N170bn. “The ministry wrote to ICPC to trace those that needed to be held accountable and weare ready to assist ICPC on any issue that borders on transparency. ”In the same vein, the current Finance Minister recently constituted a Continuous Audit Team headed by Mr. Mohammed Dikwa to audit the payroll of the government. Few months into the assignment, Dikwa told the finance minister that 43,000 ghost workers had been removed from government payroll. Dikwa had said, “Let me say that since we started the continuous audit programme, we have saved about N50bn and over 43,000 ghost workers have been removed from the payroll of the federal government. ”The Rivers State Government has said that some of the ghost workers recently discovered in the state have begun to return funds illegally collected as salaries. The action by the ghost workers, according to a source, was aimed at avoiding being prosecuted by the state government. The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said the state government had recovered over N1bn per month through its renewed campaign against ghost workers..
Eizogihc Awgosa

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