Sunday, 18 December 2016

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Biometric uncovers monumental fraud by civil servants nationwide

Biometric data capture of workers nationwide has blocked the siphoning of billions of naira of public funds by some civil servants.


A nationwide survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reveals massive distortion of payrolls by civil servants who defraud governments through inclusion of fictitious names.
According to the survey, in most of the states where the biometric verification was conducted, thousands of names of fictitious workers were found and expunged from the payrolls, saying hundreds of civil servants discovered receiving multiple salaries are facing various disciplinary actions across the country. In Oyo State, the survey revealed that the state government has so far expunged 16, 532 workers and pensioners from its payroll. “They were hitherto collecting of multiple salaries, or involved in age falsification and other infractions.
The figure emanated from a total of 100, 259 workers and pensioners screened by the ministries, departments, agencies and tertiary institutions in the state,” it was disclosed.
In Ondo State, the chairperson of the state chapter of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mrs. Bose Daramola, suggested the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN) to totally eliminate ghost workers syndrome from government payrolls.
She said that the verification was not very effective, as some retirees, whose names were not removed from civil service payroll were captured, thus allowing them to collect salary and pension at the same time. “My advise is for employers to add BVN to the data capturing as this will strengthen the process and keep out ghost workers.,” she said.
Elsewhere in Kwara State, the government said N437 million is being saved monthly after it detected 8, 863 ghost workers on its payroll and those of the 16 local councils.
Alhaji Isiaka Gold, the SSG and the Alternate Chairman of the Personnel Data Base Development Committee, said 72, 583 workers were verified as genuine staff out of the 81,446 on the payroll of the state and local governments. Similarly, Mr. Anbali Fatai, a senior official in the office of the Head of Service in Osun, said that the biometric data capture started in 2012 had saved millions of naira for government.
Also in Ekiti State, the government said it uncovered 350 ghost workers after it conducted a staff verification exercise. The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said that the state was loosing as much as N1.09 billion yearly to the ghost workers.
In Adamawa, the Chairman of the state’s Local Government Staff Verification Committee, Mr. Maurice Vunobolki said they uncovered 12, 609 ghost names on the payroll of local government councils. He said more than 5,000 workers failed to show up for verification, while 1,780 among those that turned up, were under-aged.
Also, in Gombe State, the Head of Service, Dr Daniel Musa, said with the help of biometric technology, government uncovered some individuals receiving salaries of between 20 and 50 workers. However, the Bayelsa State government said that there are no such cases in the state. The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Service, Mrs. Opukiri Debian said, “There have been ongoing investigations to fish out ghost worker in the state civil service.
“We have gone round the ministries and right now, there is no record of ghost workers in the state.” Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman in the state, Mr. Tari Dounana also said, “despite all the investigations in the state by the present government, we are yet to see any list of ghost workers.
Meanwhile, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Mr. Andrew Owei, a retired teacher, described ghost workers’ syndrome as a threat to the nation’s economy. Another teacher in the city, Mrs. Tina Okonkwo, called on government to continue with the verification of public servants.
“The civil service has become so corrupt to the extent....
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