The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that the agency uncovered 37,395 ghost workers on the Federal Civil Service payroll.
Making the announcement known on Tuesday during an anti-corruption sensitisation programme organised by the commission for staff of works and housing sectors, the Acting Chairman of the anti-corruption agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said that the government lost about N1 billion to the ghost workers.
He said, beside the widespread procurement fraud in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the issue of ghost workers was a source of serious concern to the commission.
“EFCC has uncovered 37,395 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service and investigation is still on.
“Our investigation has shown that the Federal Government lost close to N1 billion to these ghost workers.
“The figure will definitely increase as we unravel more ghost workers buried deep in Federal Civil Service payrolls,’’ the commission’s chairman said.
He explained that the commission had established a Procurement Fraud Unit to handle the increasing petitions relating to violations of the Public Procurement Laws.
Magu advised civil servants to avoid any act in breach of public procurement, warning that violators risked imprisonment and dismissal from service.
“In regard to procurement fraud, there has been a sharp rise in the number of petitions relating to violations of the Public Procurement Act (2007).
“That is what informed my setting up a Procurement Fraud Unit, which has commenced investigation of procurement fraud cases, with some already in courts.
“Let me warn that civil servants found guilty under the Public Procurement Act risk terms of imprisonment, ranging from five to 10 years, and in addition, may face dismissal from service.
“The commission is determined more than ever before to rid MDAs of fraudulent activities.’’