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Kogi uncovers 25,000 ghost workers

Kogi State has uncovered 25,103 ghost workers, according to a report of the Staff Screening and Validation Committee.The report was presented to Governor Yahaya Bello by the Auditor-General, Alhaji Usman Yusuf Okala.He said the state’s payroll had been reduced, adding that the state lost N213,034,857,280 in the last 13 years to ghost workers.According to the report, as at the time of inaugurating the committee on February 22, the state had 88, 973 workers, with a wage bill of N5,809,578,703.At the conclusion of the exercise on July 24, the cleared and validated workforce was 63,870The 25,103 ghost workers included unintended beneficiaries drawing salaries from the state and local government.“The estimated monthly wage bill of cleared and validated workforce after the conclusion of our report was N4,443,070,644,” Okala said.According to him, the state would save over N1.4 billion monthly.“These savings will amount to N16,387,296,713.88 per annum,” he added.On cases of impersonation, the report says: “These are set of dubious and notorious people who are claiming the employment benefits of some deceased civil servants of the state and local governments for as far back as 10 years.“Unfortunately, no single civil servant has raised alarm to end this practice, hence aiding and abetting the crime.“A case in point is that of Joseph Inikpi, an employee of Dekina council, who we confirmed to be dead. Our findings revealed that upon her death, a woman inherited her identity and began to enjoy her entitlements.“This woman subsequently transferred the benefits to another woman who currently enjoys the benefits of late Inikpi.“The first woman (now in Abuja) has her passport on the Employee Biodata Form whereas the second woman (now in Dekina) has her phone number on the form.”Also discovered were multiple employments. The report says: “These are wicked people and officers within the state who draw salaries in multiple from either both state, local and Federal Government, as well as private companies.“The numbers of employees in the employment of state and local governments in this category are 114. This discovery was revealed through interfacing with NIBSS where the BVN of the individuals concerned showed they were earning salaries from more than one source.”It was also observed that the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) had an over-bloated workforce, with numerous redundant senior officers ranging from GL12 to GL 17 who had left classroom for offices, thereby leaving the school without experienced teachers.The officers, the report said, were employed as professional class teachers but decided to abandon their teaching profession to LGEA offices where there was no work to do.“The report added that the cleared list is not 100 per cent clean as “it might still harbour some potential illegal and fraudulent salary earners. The reason why the cleared list is not 100 per cent clean cannot be over emphasised and it is because of the limitations associated with this exercise,” the report added.

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