Salary payments: Niger govt discovers N672m to Ghost workers, others

Niger State government has said it has discovered over N672 million monthly payment to ghost workers and several millions of naira to fictitious salary earners in the state civil service, thereby responsible for the delay in the payment of June salary in the state.

The Chairman Salary Management Committee and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural development, Engr. Ibrahim Panti made the disclosure while speaking on the reasons behind the delay of salary payment for this month (June) in Minna, the state capital.

He lamented the high level of corruption and it’s tendencies in the civil service in the state as almost 98percent of monthly allocation from Federation Account Committee ( FAAC ) goes into salary payment leaving with the state government almost with nothing for the development of the state hence the ongoing workers screening.

Engr. Panti who was optimistic of getting results from the screening exercise revealed that 30prrvent of each number of the group invited for screening was never seen during the exercise, adding that several others used fake certificates and were discovered during the exercise.

He said, “for example out of 1,000 persons invited between 600 to 700 came for the actual screening, while out of 100 we saw 70persons or less, out of 1,451 persons screened 461 is on hold, 21 of them were retirees and rejected while 259 did not appear for the exercise at all.”

“About 36,000 lists of civil servants were presented to the committee when we started the screening exercise. we brought it down to 27,000 and again to 25,000, we later discovered different serial numbers with the same BVN, repeated names with different bank accounts and fictitious allowances and salaries” he stated.

He assured that those found wanting will surely face the full wrath of the law in accordance to the Civil Service rules and regulations while appropriate recommendations would be made to the government in its report on financial misappropriation of public funds.

Engr. Panti further revealed that the exercise was going smoothly despite threats from some quarters, saying, “the Committee cannot be deterred from doing the right thing and that some of those involved have started putting up their resignation but they will be hunted and brought to book no matter their position.

He said some of them had run to some traditional rulers for intervention, as others have resorted to cheap blackmail, describing the latter’s actions as dark and hypocritical, but reassured that the Committee members will maintain their stand of ensuring that the perpetrators, as well as their collaborators, were fished out very soon, after which they would be arraigned in the Law Court for prosecution accordingly.

Responding to why huge chunks of the money go to the politicians shortly after four years or fewer years in the office such politicians might have acquired much money, wealth and property, he debunked the assertion by citing a personal example of himself and noted that sometimes in May 2019, he had an opportunity to see that Niger state government received a federal allocation of little above N3 billion.

He stated categorically that the state civil servants collected N2.7 billion, while about N50 million goes to the appointees and politicians on a monthly basis.



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