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Nigeria to save about $11.5m monthly after clearing ghost workers

Nigeria to save about $11.5m monthly after clearing ghost workers

Nigeria

Nigeria can now save N5 billion ( about $11.5m) each month which is an amount paid to over 23,000 fictitious employees.

An investigative panel of the federal Ministry of Finance recently uncovered these ghost workers.

A preliminary report of an investigative committee set up by the federal government of Nigeria records that over 23,000 ghost workers have been receiving salary every month illegally.

We do not have the exact number yet. The first 23,000 ghost workers were discovered. We have already blocked the payment of ghost payroll.

They have been accused of defrauding the government of millions of naira every month through an organised salary fraud.

A huge scam that was first made public since February.

Head of continuous audit team, Mohammed Dikwa said they will continue to audit the pay roll and also ensure that the control put in place are revalidated from time to time to ensure there are no leakages.

“We do not have the exact number yet. The first 23,000 ghost workers were discovered. We have already blocked the payment of ghost payroll. We blocked all accounts, we blocked all sources, and we even arrested some,” he said.

Considering these results, the Ministry of Finance has decided to migrate the military to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) before December.

The team has equally started the audit of the military payroll ,following the recent revelations during the trial of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh.

The sum of N558.2 million (about $279,000) was allegedly diverted monthly from the Nigeria Air Force account into a private account.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said they will ensure that whatever measures used to block the leakages in the future are effective and adequate.

She explained that her ministry is doing some work on the military payroll to improve the control and give some more assurance that every penny going into the military is valid and spent accordingly.

“We do plan to enroll all our military payroll to IPPIS before the end of the year, but in the interim it is necessary to respond to allegations and revelations of excesses on the payroll to investigate if they are true and correct,” she added.

The Nigerian authorities reiterated that they will continuously check the flow of workers using factors such as the payrolls in the budget, and physical verifications.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, but has been hit hard by the slump in oil prices. The sector accounts for about 35 percent of GDP, 75 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of export earnings.