The government of Benue State on Thursday, disclosed that it has uncovered no fewer than 2,500 ghost workers from the payroll of local government areas in the state.
The governor also gave a reason for the delay in payment of salaries of teachers in primary and post-primary schools, as well as the local government staff.
According to him, there was a need to sanitize and clean all the manipulations created by the past administration.
Alia explained that the probe into activities of local government during the last administration revealed mindless padding of the wage bills and manipulation of the payroll.
The statement read in parts, “The governor says the decision for the delay in the payment of salaries of the above-mentioned workers was taken after the government discovered mindless padding of the wage bill and other fraudulent manipulations on their payroll.
“He says the decision became necessary after the discovery, to enable the government sanitize and cleanse the payroll; to ascertain the actual wage bill of the state, and to know the genuine workers that are worth their wages.
“He reveals that the first phase of an extensive staff verification and payroll audit for all teachers and local government staff has just been concluded, and it has already uncovered over 2500 ghost workers that have already been removed from the payroll.
“He identifies ghost workers, ghost schools, double dipping, unlawful employment, salary padding, payment to dead or retired individuals, unlawful replacement, and inflation of the wage bill, as some of the payroll infractions discovered from the audit.
“He assures that workers who were successfully screened will receive their salaries before the end of this week, noting that government is not only fishing out ghosts workers and removing the padding associated with payroll fraud but also putting in measures to ensure the systems are protected going forward.”
Benue has 23 local government areas.
Alia had suspended the 23 local government chairmen to pave the way for a thorough investigation into alleged maladministration in the council areas by the state assembly.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that renowned Nigerian writer cum scholar, Professor Kole Omotoso has died.
Omotoso died on Wednesday at the age of 80 years.