Plateau State government has disclosed that no fewer than 6,000 ghost workers have been discovered in the payroll of the state government.
The state commissioner for information and communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham who disclosed this to LEADERSHIP in Jos yesterday said that the ghost workers were discovered after a biometric verification exercise carried out by the state government.
According to him, after earlier committees set up by the government to determine the strength of the state workforce had put the figure at between 17,000 and 18, 000 workers, the governor became alarmed that despite the fact that there had been no new employment, the figure kept rising.
Yiljap added that the biometric exercise discovered that Plateau State should have not more than 11,000 workers, meaning that the remaining were not legitimate workers.
He said, "Between 2007 and 2011 we discovered that the figure of the state civil service kept increasing despite the fact that people have been dying and have not been replaced, we have had people resigning, going on secondment and, yet we have not had any corresponding decrease".
He further stressed, "We discovered that before the minimum wage, the wage bill was N1.2 billion monthly and after that it rose to N1.7 billion, then we started asking questions. How come the wage bill, instead of decreasing continued to increase, despite the fact that people have been leaving the service through one means or the other and they were not replaced."
The commissioner said they had not employed for a long time and yet they still have that number of workers."We found out that in some instances, people were collecting salaries from more than one ministry, dead people still have their names on the payroll, while those who are supposed to have left service keep changing their age to remain in service".
He said that many of the ghost workers had been identified and would soon be prosecuted, "We have discovered account numbers where millions were lodged monthly adding that those account numbers belonged to somebody, they have names, they will face the court of law."