A committee set up by the Kebbi State government to verify local government staff has uncovered 9,258 "ghost workers" in the 21 councils, an official of the workers union has said.
Alhaji Bello Barade, the state chairman of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), told the News Agency of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi yesterday that the figure included workers that failed to appear for clearance.
He said the exercise, conducted two months ago, had cleared 24, 126 workers "as genuine staff of the 21 local councils."
"The records of such workers were studied and they were cleared. The exercise was not aimed at witch hunting any worker," he said.
Barade disclosed that 12, 830 of the workers verified "were mere beneficiaries of political patronage".
"Such categories of staff would not be considered as workers due to the nature of their recruitment on political grounds, but they would continue to enjoy their salaries and allowances," he said.
The chairman, who was part of the verification team, said the committee had recommended the retraining of some 1, 830 secondary school certificate holders, who were employed as teachers.
He said such workers would be fully absorbed into the service after the retraining.
According to him, genuine workers who were unable to attend the screening exercise will be given another opportunity.
"The committee has also strongly recommended that all serious omissions be reviewed," he added.
The discovery of thousands of fake workers in Kebbi came just days after the Kogi State Government also announced uncovering 800 non-existent primary schools and more than 3,000 names of ghost workers in its payroll.
In Kebbi's next-door neighbor Zamfara, thousands of ghost workers were found including among staff of the government house.