Benue to prosecute workers collecting double salaries

THE Benue State government says civil servants receiving multiple salaries will be reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and prosecution.

Kula Tersoo, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the state governor Hyacinth Alia disclosed this on Friday, July 21.

Tersoo said some of the workers were receiving salaries from up to three sources within the administration, including the Universal Basic Education Board, state and local governments.

“We already know some of them and they have been removed from the entire payroll. We are waiting for them to report that they have not been paid and that would be them reporting themselves.

“Those who were collecting double salaries as senior staff will be handed over to the EFCC for investigation and possible prosecution,” Tersoo said.

On Thursday, July 20, Governor Alia revealed that, at least, 2,500 ghost workers were discovered on the payroll of the state, according to a statement by Tersoo.

The discovery was made during a payroll audit and staff verification exercise carried out by the state, which led to a delay in payment of workers’ salaries for two months.

“He identifies ghost workers, ghost schools, double dipping, unlawful employment, salary padding, payment to dead or retired individuals, unlawful replacement, and inflation of the wage bill, as some of the payroll infractions discovered from the audit.

“He assures that workers who were successfully screened will receive their salaries before the end of this week, noting that government is not only fishing out ghosts workers and removing the padding associated with payroll fraud, but is also putting in measures to ensure the systems are protected, going forward,” Tersoo noted.

Alia also disclosed that the state saved N1.2 billion as a result of the verification exercise.

In June, the state suspended 23 local government chairmen and councillors  allegedly for their involvement in mismanaging public funds.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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