Jos — No fewer than 5,000 ghost workers are in Plateau civil service, Mr Yakubu Jang, the Special Adviser, Special Duties, to Plateau Governor, has said.
Jang, who is Chairman of the Biometric Data Capture Committee, authenticating the state's 21,000 workers, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday.
He said that 11,176 workers had so far been cleared and certified as authentic, adding that only those cleared would be paid the January salaries.
According to him, of the remaining, 5,000 cases are pending with 'small issues'.
"We have set up an appeal panel to determine their cases. So at the end of the day, we may end up with about 16,000 workers. There is practically nothing about the other 5,000 "employees".
"Our conclusion is that such people are fake and never existed in the first place," he said.
He said that committee found out that so many workers did not have files; others had been in the service for 10 years and actually had files, but there was "no communication in such files at all.
"The files have no activity in them. They contained nothing on promotion, steps upgrading, annual leave or anything. Just blank files," he said.
"We also found many cases where some persons promoted themselves by about four or five grade levels so as to earn salaries and entitlements they were not qualified for.
"In one very bizarre case, we found that someone had promoted himself to 'a commissioner' and was drawing salaries and all other entitlements for that office," he said.
He said that the committee initially provided 18,330 forms with an intention to produce more since the nominal roll indicated that there were 21,000 workers.
"But of the 18,330 forms, only 17,000 were returned. From that 17,000, after checking the files and cross matching everything, we got only 11,176.
"In fact, the monthly wage bill of N1.7 billion dropped by about N100 million immediately we started the biometric capturing.
"What we suspect is that, people that had always smuggled names into the pay roll suddenly stopped for fear that they may be discovered," he said.
The governor's aide said that the committee was already digging into the missing names so as to ascertain who was slotting them into the pay vouchers. (NAN)