Vanguard (Lagos)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: Ghost Worker - Delta Suspends E-Payment of Salary

Asaba — The Delta Government announced on Thursday the suspension of e-payment of workers' salaries with effect from January.

The Governor, Dr Emmanuel, said the measure was part of efforts to check the problem of ghost workers in the public service of the state.

The governor told journalists in Asaba during an interactive session that henceforth, workers in the state would be paid their salaries physically.

He explained that the state had to adopt the measure, because other strategies used in checking corruption in the salary payment system, especially the ghost worker syndrome, had failed.

He said that in spite of more than 7,000 ghost workers discovered in the state through bio-metric staff audit in 2012, the wage bill had continued to rise.

"It is obvious that there are still many ghost workers in the state, especially among teachers. From this January, salaries are going to be paid on the basis of physical presence of a worker.

"We will pay cash, and it will be so for the first three months in the first instance," he said.

Uduaghan said that the high wage bill was affecting budget performance in the state with regard to projects execution.

"The problem is also accounting for budget deficit being recorded annually by the state government," he added.

He explained that salary increase for all workers and for different professional associations and unions by the Federal Government, which state governments were forced to pay had often infringed on Delta's budgets.

Uduaghan said other steps were being taken to instil discipline in budgeting and implementation of the budget in the state to achieve results.

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