Ghost workers are workers that do not really exist, but they receive salaries at the end of the month. They constitute a significant percentage of the workforce in Nigeria's public service, costing the government billions of naira annually.

Efforts have been on to eliminate them, but the menace is still rife.

But now, the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government is poised to tackle the menace headlong.

The measures include preparing a special salary template for civil service and excluding all consultants in salary payments.

It has also issued a stern warning to chief executives of all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies against inflating their personnel budgets for the 2019 fiscal period, which is part of measures aimed at checking the menace of the ‘ghost’ workers as well as reducing the wage bill.

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The warning was contained in the 2019 Personnel Budget Call Circular issued and personally signed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning; Senator Udo Udoma.

According to Udoma, to guard against the insertion of extraneous items, a payroll templates for all MDAs has been prepared, using applicable salary structures as approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

He emphasised the fact that the payment of salaries and allowances was for members of staff only, noting that “any extraneous payments from personnel costs will attract appropriate sanctions.”

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