We are losing N19.3million monthly to 362 ghost workers, says Ekiti govt

...But it's unlikely a local government in Nigeria pays over N500,000 monthly salary

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THE Ekiti State government has said that it is losing N19.3 million monthly to 362 ghost workers who are civil servants across 16 local governments of the state.

Adio Folayan, the Co-Chairman of a verification Committee and Commissioner for Local Government Affairs disclosed this on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital.

According to Adio, the amount represents salaries and emoluments drawn monthly by the 362 ghost workers discovered in a just-concluded verification exercise.

However, after a breakdown of the N19.3 million the government is allegedly losing to the 362 ghost workers, it shows an unlikely salary and emolument payment of N533, 000 every month. It is inconceivable that a local government in Nigeria pays that much as monthly wages

The state government had earlier in the year set up an 11-member committee and seven-member subcommittee to investigate the issue of ghost workers in a bid to block financial loopholes in the Local Government System

Adio said it was discovered that the 362 absent workers are on the payroll of the local government service after ‘thorough screening and verification’.

He added that the committee recommended that all illegal salaries earned by the affected workers should be deducted from their pension and gratuity and subsequently prosecuted for fraud with their accomplices.

The Commissioner also directed the councils’ Heads of Department to enforce discipline while the practice of giving schedules of duties to their officers should be adopted so that errant officers would be punished for any infraction.

Speaking on the findings and recommendations of the Committee, Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti state said the money recovered into the state coffer from the ghost workers would be used to attend to other government obligations to workers in the State.

“This is a matter we need to look into, you can’t sit in Lagos and be earning salaries in Ekiti for work you have not done. But it is our duty to stop that from happening, it is not the duty of the person that is cheating the system.

“The resources available to us is limited, we all know this, some pretend not to know but anyone that has a limited knowledge of government finances will know that already we spent a bulk of what comes to this state on emolument and we have many people who are not public servants or political appointees, yet they too expect that government will touch their lives,” Fayemi said.

He added that the only way to touch the lives of residents who are neither civil servants nor public officials is to provide them with basic amenities.

“The only way we can touch their lives is to fix the road in their community, improve on their schools and their health facilities and that would provide empowerment for them in their community if we can’t find money to do that,” Fayemi added.



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