Benue State governor Hyacinth Alia has disclosed that at the conclusion of the first phase of an extensive staff verification and payroll audit for all teachers and local government staff, over 2,500 ghost workers uncovered have already been removed from the payroll.
The governor who disclosed this through the chief press secretary Tersoo Kula expressed regrets over the delay in payment of salaries of teachers in primary and secondary schools, as well as the local government staff, saying the delay was due to the verification exercise.
According to him, “the delay in the payment of salaries of the above-mentioned workers was taken after the government discovered mindless padding of the wage bill, and other fraudulent manipulations on their payroll. So far, we have identified ghost workers, ghost schools, double dipping, unlawful employment, salary padding, payment to dead or retired individuals, unlawful replacement, inflation of the wage bill, as some of the payroll infractions discovered from the audit.”
The governor assured that workers who were successfully screened will receive their salaries before the end of this week, noting that the government is not only fishing out ghost workers and removing the padding associated with payroll fraud, but also putting in measures to ensure the systems are protected going forward.
He said, “This decision became necessary after the discovery, to enable the government sanitise and cleanse the payroll, to ascertain the true wage bill of the state and to know the genuine workers that are worth their wages.”