FG Uncovers 63,000 Ghost Workers

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Okonjo-Iweala

The Federal Government has disclosed that about 62,893 ghost workers have beeen weeded out of the payroll system, as it hoped to save additional N36 billion, having saved an initial N208.7 billion in the first instance.

The coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made the disclosure on Tuesday, in Abuja, at a Forum of the Catholic CARITAS Foundation of Nigeria under the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

She said apart from the initial saving of N208.7 billion from the introduction of Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), the government aimed to save an additional N36 billion from blocking some loopholes after weeding out 62,893 ghost workers from the payroll system.

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The minister, who noted that the government had put systems in place to curtail corruption said “when we talk of corruption, we had a system that is cash-based.  For example when we want to pay salaries,  we will send money to Ministry of Agriculture and say here is your money, pay your people. Here is Ministry of Education,  pay your people. Yes, that is what we are doing. Whereas,  if we had an electronic platform,  there will be no transfer of cash.

“That is what we have done now in Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). What does it do? It transfers money electronically from budget to the Accountant-General, from Accountant-General to Ministries’ Departments and Agencies.  And guess what, in December, remember that salaries were delayed in December. There was a problem. Everybody thought the  economy was broke. But what happened was that 14 agencies which were  on  GIFMIS tried to pay more and utilise more than what was programmed, the system locked them out.  And they could not pay one person in their  agencies.”