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Niger committee unravels 11,000 ghost workers, recovers N672million

Niger State Governor
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello

Niger State Salary Management Committee has uncovered over 11,000 ghost workers and saved over N672 million meant for fictitious monthly salary payments.

Chairman, of the Committee and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Ibrahim Panti on Sunday while speaking during a live radio program said some of those involved have started putting up their resignations.

He said, “millions of naira were also traced to fictitious salary earners in the civil service thereby causing delay in the payment of June salary in the state.

“Some are resigning secretly, but they will be hunted and brought to book no matter their position. Others have ran to traditional rulers for intervention, resorted to blackmail, gone dark and hypocritic but we will maintain our stand in ensuring that the perpetuators as well as their collaborators are fished out soon next for prosecution accordingly”.

According to Panti, “a list of about 36,000 civil servants was presented to the committee, when we started the screening we brought it down to 27,000 and again to 25,000 which means about 11,000 are ghost workers.

“During the screening, we discovered different serial numbers with the same BVN, repeated names with different bank accounts and fictitious allowances and salaries”.

He lamented over the high level of corruption and its tendencies in the civil service in the State as 98% of allocation goes in to salary payment leaving Government with almost nothing for the development of the state hence the ongoing screening.

Engr. Panti who was optimistic for getting results from the screening revealed that 30% of each numbers of group invited for screening were never seen during the exercise, adding that fake unclaimed certificates were discovered from the exercise.

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

He assured that those found wanting will surely face the wrath of the law in accordance with the civil service rules and regulations as appropriate recommendations would be made to government in the report on financial misappropriation of public funds.

Panti further revealed that the exercise was going on smoothly despite threats from some quarters, adding that, he can not be deterred from doing the right thing.

Responding to why huge sums of money go to politicians, he denied by saying that in May 2019 he had an opportunity to see that Niger government received federal allocation of little above N3 billion, meanwhile, the civil servants took N2.7 billion only about N50 million goes to the appointees and politicians.

Daniel Okpole Atori is a renowned Journalist with flair for high professionalism in the media world spanning over 13 years . He has worked with Pen Watch Newspaper, Nigerian Compass Newspapers and currently with Eagle Online as Niger State Bureau Chief and New Telegraph Newspapers as Niger State Correspondent

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