The Presidency has announced that the Nigerian Government wielded the big stick on 50,000 ghost workers, who had been on its payroll, saving the country an estimated N200 billion in 2016.
Speaking with State House correspondents at an interactive meeting to mark the end the year, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the amount is from N13 billion that has been taken off the payroll monthly from February to December this year.
Mr. Shehu also announced that 11 persons championing the syndicate of ghost workers have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He said: “The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instil good governance is on course. Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.
“When the Committee was constituted in February 2016, federal government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions. Now the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions. Which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date.”
The presidential spokesman added that the “the pension bill was 15.5bn monthly as at February. Now it is down to N14.4 billion, which means average monthly saving is made of about N1.1 billion.”
Shehu also explained that the total number of ghost workers so far removed from the payroll is about 50,000 and that 11 persons championing the syndicate of the ghost workers have been referred to EFCC with some of them already undergoing trial.