Abia State Pays N700m To Ghosts Monthly
When Abia State gets allocation from the Federal Government, ghosts will also wait patiently to get their own share of the money.
Corruption in Nigeria is seen in almost every area of life and Abia State has been paying over 700 Hundred Million Naira to ghost workers every month.
The south eastern state has been paying at least 2.8 billion Naira every month to workers who the State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu described as ghost workers.
After Abia State adopted a measure aimed at knowing the true state of the state's workforce, it discovered that over 700 million was being paid to these faceless workers.
The State government had issued a directive that every worker in the state must provide a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and this dropped the monthly wages to 2.1 billion Naira.
Most Nigerian states are finding it hard to keep up with the payment of salaries of workers, but the Abia State governor believes that the prevalence of ghost workers was a major reason the monthly wage figures were huge.
The governor, however, said that the government was able to check the syndrome and reduced the wage bill when it adopted “wage bill management’’ approach to the problem.
He said that through the strategy, faceless workers were currently being weeded out, and expressed optimism that if the momentum of approach was sustained, the bill would further drop to about 1.7 billion Naira.
According to Governor Ikpeazu, salary payment in Abia is regarded as 'wage bill management’ which ensures that only deserving workers are paid.
"The syndrome of ghost workers has both political and economic dimension. If you allow ghost workers, they are the people who are never around, never seen but have names on the payroll.
"Those of them who manage to be around in the state are those we sit or stand under the tree and in times of protest or agitation, they are the ones who continue to say 'we no go gree'.
"They are elements that should be thrown away. They are the people who do fraud with payment vouchers," the Governor insisted.