The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced on Sunday that over 23,846 ghost workers were being removed from its monthly payroll, saving the government N2.293 billion from the total salary bill for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for February 2016 when compared to December 2015 when the BVN audit process commenced.
Speaking on the matter, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the ghost workers were uncovered in payrolls of various MDAs during the ongoing bank verification number (BVN)-based staff audit and enrolment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The BVN is a unique number that identifies each bank’s customer for “Know Your Customer” (KYC) purposes.
The use of BVNs, rather than physical appearance of workers for biometric capture at the initial stage of verification, has significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the payroll audit process and reduced the cost of implementation.
It was also gathered that the BVN platform to audit and sanitise the salary payment system, ministry of finance, has so far checked the details of about 312,000 civil servants currently enrolled on IPPIS.
Consequently, the development has led to the discovery of high level irregularities in salary payment.
The audit is part of an anti-corruption campaign introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Corruption and mismanagement have long been a challenge to Nigeria’s growth, and the government has promised to cut costs to face an economic slowdown.