The Auditor-General of Kogi State, Okala Yusuf, has disclosed that the state government lost about N213 billion to 18, 211 ghost workers in the past 13 years.
The assertion was made on Monday in Lokoja while he was presenting the report of the just-concluded screening and verification of the state workforce undertaken by the government.
According to Yusuf, the ghost workers were discovered in Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and in the 21 local government councils in the state.
The AG stated that over 7, 606 of the ghost workers were discovered in the work force of local councils, 5,872 were discovered in the state work force while pensioners account for 1,040 of the ghost workers.
Consequently, the exercise had reduced the joint workforce of the state and local governments from 88, 973 to 63, 870, Yusuf said.
He added that the monthly wage bill had also been reduced from N5.8 billion to N4.6 billion.
Yusuf said the 929 workers who were illegally employed in the state in 2015 and 2016 were also among those categorised as ghost workers.
He said some workers categorised as being in the Diaspora, who had been collecting their salaries for years while residing in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna and other cities across the country were also affected.
Speaking after the presentation of the report, Governor Yahaya Bello said the discovery had justified the good intention of the government to embark on the screening and verification.