Niger uncovers 5,000 ghost workers

The Niger state government has discovered at least 5,000 ghost workers and other fictitious salary claims used to siphon millions of naira as monthly salary from the state confers.

The state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Ibrahim Panti, stated this at the weekend in a telephone interview Blueprint in Minna

Panti, who is the chairman of the state salary screening committee said a list of about 30,000 workers presented to the committee had been screened down to 25,716 workforce of the state civil service.

He explained that the issue of delay in salary payment for the month did not fall within the purview of his committee, adding that such issues were being handled by the Office of the Head of Service.

He said, “In every 1500 workers we invited for screening, about 250 to 300 were absent even though their names were on the payroll. There is no worker who would not want to get a salary; it therefore means those absent without reason do not exist.”

He listed other fraudulent practices to include discovering six or more BVNs linked to individuals used to claim salaries while some retired workers were still drawing salaries in addition to their pensions.

Regretting the high level of sharp practices in the salary payment, Engr Panti said 98% of statutory  allocation to the state was being used for salary payment, leaving nothing tangible for the development of the state 

“About 30,000 list of civil servants were presented to the committee, when we started the screening we brought it down  to 25, 716. We later discovered different serial numbers with the same BVN, repeated names with different bank accounts and fictitious allowances and salaries,” he stated.

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