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FG uncovers fresh 11,000 ghost workers

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The Federal Government is currently working to expose another 11,000 ghost workers on its payroll in its second batch of staff audit.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

This is coming shortly after the government deleted 23,000 ghost workers from its payroll and saving the nation N2.29bn per month.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She was joined at the post-FEC briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal.

The minister said her ministry was using what she called computer techniques to investigate the 11,000 affected cases.

She said as soon as the cases were resolved, Nigerians would be informed of the amount saved and the number of names removed again from the payroll.

Adeosun said, “On the issue of the ghost workers, of the 23,000 that we had removed, our payroll has reduced by N2.29bn per month.

“The update on that is that we are now investigating another potential 11,000.

“Again, we are using computer techniques to identify those who we need to investigate.

“So we are now looking at the second batch and as we resolve those cases, we will inform you of the amount saved and the number of people removed.”

The minister added that the FEC had approved what he called the presidential initiative on continuous audit of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Adeosun said the initiative would allow government to extend the work beyond payroll to other areas of expenditure.

According to her, the World Bank has indicated its readiness to support Nigeria in this initiative, noting that it would take about six months to get the required legislation through.

She added, “The FEC deliberated extensively on the need for this and agreed that the control framework over finance and spending of government’s money needed to be strengthened especially in anticipation of the approval of the budget, which is an extended expenditure.

“If we don’t strengthen our controls, then there is a risk that money would leak or be applied to the wrong things and therefore, the ability to go into various agencies without notice and check and do audits and updates to make sure that public money is being spent in accordance with our expectations and objectives.

“FEC approved the setting up of this initiative effectively using an executive order to create internal audit to enable us to continue this work and to extend it to everywhere that federal money is being spent or received so that we can have better oversight.”

Adeosun said the government would not carry out additional recruitment for the exercise.

She said it would use existing members of staff and qualified accountants within the Office of the Accountant General as well as the federal civil service and redeploy them to carry out this function.

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