Gusau — More than half of the Zamfara State Government House staff are "ghost and redundant" workers while at least a quarter of the civil service payroll is made up of fake names, a verification committee said yesterday.
Presenting an interim report to Governor Abdulazeez Yari in Gusau yesterday, chairman of the state workers' verification committee Ahmed A. Gusau said also thousands of workers found their way into the service with forged certificates.
The committee was set up by the Zamfara State Government in April 2012 to determine the authentic workforce of the state following agitation by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for implementation of N18,000 minimum wage.
Gusau said after a thorough audit of the workforce, the panel uncovered 7,339 ghost and redundant workers on the government's payroll.
He said of the 28,183 workers being paid salaries, only 21,067 were genuinely working for the state government.
Also, while a lot of workers were collecting salaries without place of posting, thousands of non existing and redundant workers bloated the state civil service payroll, he added.
The committee cited an example of the state female education board where 2,388 workers were on the payroll of the government, but surprisingly could only capture 1,539 workers in the verification exercise.
He lamented that more than 50 per cent of the Government House staff members comprised of mainly "the ghost and redundant" workers, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
Other government establishments with large number of ghost workers included Ministries of Animal Health, Education, Teachers' Service, Arabic and Islamic, Hospital Services Management and Science and Technical Teachers' Boards.
Gusau said most of ghost workers' names were inserted into the workforce between June and October 2010 when the past administration undertook employment exercises 18 times.
"During the last administration commissioners abused their privilege by deceiving the state government to approve recruitment where in actual fact the people recruited were their relations," he said.
He said his committee also discovered that many teachers who were working in private schools are receiving salaries from the state government.
Gusau said a large number of staff had never signed any register of attendance, while many workers only go to their offices only twice or thrice a month but collect complete salaries.
Responding, Governor Yari, represented by his deputy Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad, pledged to fully implement the recommendations of the committee.
He said his administration was committed to enhancing the welfare of genuine workers to enhance their productivity.
Meanwhile our correspondent gathered that the final report of the committee would be presented to the governor on August 11.