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Niger paying salaries to 333 dead civil servants; N5bn stolen in 2 years

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Niger govt unknowingly paying salaries to 333 'dead civil servants', N5bn stolen in 2 years
Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani

By Wole Mosadomi – Minna

Three hundred and thirty-three certified “dead civil servants” have been uncovered to be on the payroll of  Niger state government for the past two years.

Besides the unbelievable revelation of the dead, N207M has also been uncovered as being stolen and paid as salaries to fake civil servants in the state amounting to about N5billion in the past two years.

Chairman of the Screening Committee set up by the state government to fish out the ghost workers from the state civil service who is also Commissioner for works, Engineer Ibrahim Mohammed Panti who disclosed this in an interview said the screening still continues and that more revelations are still likely to unfold.

He said those mostly involved are Account Officers and other staff from the state Ministry of Health adding that they are among the eighty civil servants sacked last week.

“Out of the purported 27,000 civil servants on the payroll of the state government, only 15,907 of them have been discovered to be our genuine workers so far.

“There are 3,923 workers from different Ministries still having pending issues and are still being investigated. These set of people had entered the state civil service with fictitious certificates and their names found on the payroll of the state.

“Within the last two years, 333 dead civil servants who had been certified dead are still drawing  salaries from the state
government and all these frauds must stop, “the Chairman declared.

Engineer Panti said 1029 Civil Servants whose names are on the payroll are yet to appear for screening adding that by today which is the end of the screening, they will be officially declared as ghost workers if they refuse to appear before the screening committee.

The Commissioner disclosed that all Civil Service rules were duly followed before they were dismissed.

“All those involved have given confessional statements on their involvement in the fraud and officials of Labour in the state are aware of this development,” Panti remarked.

He said besides being dismissed, all those found guilty will also be prosecuted pointing out that unlike before, “the present revelations are too weighty to be swept under the carpet.”

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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