Vanguard (Lagos)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: FG Uncovers 45,000 Ghost Workers

Abuja — The Federal Government has uncovered a total of 45,000 ghost workers in federal establishments across the country following the audit staff of the federal government ministries, agencies and Parastatals.

Minister of state for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama who disclosed this while briefing state house correspondents on the performance of the ministry in the last one year added that the discovery has saved government over N100billion.

According to him, the Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPS) in 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs has ensured that government expenditure could be traced.

"We have registered over 153,000 federal government workers. But compared to the total number of staff that used to get salaries in these MDAs, we have seen a gap of 45,000 people missing. So, we have already declared that they are ghost workers.

"We have about 320 MDAs that we have not covered and when we cover this, we may actually discover more and reduce the total payroll cost to the country" he said.

The minister said the exercise will be expedited in order to ensure that appreciable progress was made by the end of 2013.

The minister said a centralized bio-data of staff have been established and is domiciled in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation AGF.

"Whether you are working in a University in Uyo, or any federal establishment in Nigeria, by the press of a button, your salary will go to your account," Yerima noted.

Dr Yerima also said that the ministry has done well to stabilize the financial system through the stabilization of the Macro Economy.

On the consolidation of the budget, the minister of state said the ministry was able to bring the budget defict from 6.8 percent in 2010 to 2.3 percent in 2011 budget.

He said the ministry also focused on reducing the recurrent expenditure quotient so that more funds would be available for the development in the real sector.

The minister said the target of the ministry is to achieve a 60 percent capital expenditure budget while 40 percent is budgeted for recurrent expenditure.

He blamed the increase in salary by 53 percent in 2010 for the dysfunction in the country's budgetary process, noting that with the increase in salary, government has to rely on bonds to pay salaries thereby pushing up domestic debt to N6.634Trillion.

He said the ministry has managed the economy effectively and efficiently as reflected by the various positive ratings by international rating agencies.

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