The Niger State Government has uncovered over 11,000 ghost workers and saved over N672 million meant for fictitious monthly salary payments.
The Chairman, Salary Management Committee and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Ibrahim Panti, gave the details on Sunday during a live radio programme.
Panti said the exercise is the reason behind the delay of salary payment for the month of June.
Engr. Panti said millions of naira were also traced to fictitious salary earners in the civil service, thereby causing delay in the payment of June salary in the state.
Findings have it that some of those involved have started putting in their resignation letters.
He said: “But they will be hunted and brought to book no matter their position.
“Others have ran to traditional rulers for intervention, resorted to blackmail, gone dark and hypocritical, but we will maintain our stand in ensuring that the perpetuators as well as their collaborators are fished out soon for prosecution accordingly.
“A list of about 36,000 civil servants was presented to the committee.
“When we started the screening, we brought it down to 27,000 and again to 25,000, which means about 11,000 are ghost workers.
“During the screening, we discovered different serial numbers with the same BVN, repeated names with different bank accounts and fictitious allowances and salaries.”
Panti lamented over the high level of corruption and its tendencies in the civil service in the State as 98 per cent of allocation goes into salary payment, leaving Government with almost nothing for the development of the state, hence the ongoing screening.
Engr. Panti, who was optimistic of getting results from the screening, revealed that 30 per cent of each number of group invited for screening were never seen during the exercise, adding that fake unclaimed certificates were discovered from the exercise.
He said: “For example out of 1,000 invited, between 600 to 700 came for the actual screening, while out of 100 we saw 70 or less.
“Out of 1,451 persons screened, 461 are on hold, 21 of them were retirees and rejected, while 259 did not appear for the exercise.”
He vowed that those found wanting will surely face the wrath of the law in accordance with the civil service rules and regulations as appropriate recommendations would be made to government in the report on financial misappropriation of public funds.
Panti further revealed that the exercise was going on smoothly despite threats from some quarters, adding that he cannot be deterred from doing the right thing.
Responding to why huge sums of money go to politicians, he denied by saying that in May 2019, he had an opportunity to see that the Niger State Government received Federal Allocation of a little above N3 billion, out of which civil servants took N2.7 billion, with N50 million used for the payment of political appointees.