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109 -year-old, thousands of ghost workers uncovered in Zamfara civil service verification exercise

4,972 civil servants were suspended from receiving salary...one of them is 119 years old but still collecting salary.

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Gov. Bello Matawallen of Zamfara State

While half of Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty due to palpable unemployment rate, some Nigerians have more than one job and are smiling to the bank with double salaries every month. 

They are called ghost workers! 

These are higly placed civil servants, mostly, who give jobs to unexistent persons and allocate the salaries to themselves at the end of the month. 

This obnoxoxious practice has been faulted in the Nigerian civil service as the leading cause of unemployment in the country. 

Over the past few years, president Muhammed Buhari has been actively engaged in fight against corruption, a major theme of his administration. 

Albeit this, the practice has continued unabeited. 

Just yestarday, the Zamfara Government has said it has uncovered a total of 108 civil servants allegedly receiving double salary in different ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Rabi’u Garba, disclosed this at a press briefing on Sunday in Gusau.

Garba said that the affected workers were discovered during the ongoing investigation of workers’ salary issues by the state’s ministry of finance.

He said that the exercise, under the leadership of Governor Bello Matawalle, was not to witch-hunt anybody, but to ensure sanity in the civil service payroll in the state.

“The affected workers found collecting more than one salary at different MDAs were among the 4,972 civil servants who were suspended from receiving salary for the month of December 2019 as a result of various irregularities.

“We discovered these irregularities from the payroll of November 2019 salary in the state.

“We have suspended the affected workers from collecting salary until we conclude the investigation,” Garba said.

He said the 108 workers, who were collecting double salary, would be handed over to the state’s ministry of justice for prosecution.

“We also found 109 workers whose official names are different from the names of their salary accounts.

“We discovered irregularities from 1,640 workers whose account numbers are not found in the CBN server,” he said.

“There are also 485 workers who are supposed to have gone on retirement but are still collecting salary. In fact, one of them is 119 years old but still collecting salary.

“We also suspended the salary of 1,548 workers receiving salary under micro-finance banks because of various irregularities.

“We have directed them to their MDAs for proper clearance,” he added.

According to the commissioner, some of the MDAs involved in the salary irregularities in the state are Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara, Arabic and Female Education Boards, Establishment and Hospital Service Management Board.

“We have suspended the directors of finance of all the affected MDAs,” he explained.

He urged the workers in the state to be patient with the state over any inconvenience which the verification exercise might have caused.

Garba said anyone who needed clarification on the matter should visit the state ministry of finance in Gusau. 

(original story from NAN)

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