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FG uncovers 45,000 ghost workers, save N100billion

By on February 14, 2013

The Federal Government has so far uncovered 45,000 ghost workers in its bid to eliminate waste in its expenditure.

Minister of State, Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, said this on Wednesday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He briefed State House correspondents alongside the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru.

Ngama and Ashiru had earlier briefed the FEC of their ministries’ achievements and challenges in 2012.

Ngama said the ghost workers were uncovered in 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies where his ministry had already introduced the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

Under the scheme, he said 153,019 members of staff had so far been audited as at January 2013.

With the discovery, he said about N100bn was already being saved in form of salary bill.

He added that efforts were being made to continue the exercise in the remaining 321 MDAs with a view to identifying other ghost workers still in the system.

He said the government’s decision was one of the ways of rationalising the nation’s recurrent expenditure.

Ngama said the major problem that distorted current expenditure in the country was the across-the-board increase in salary in 2010.

Ngama regretted that although the Federal Government succeeded in breaking the budget jinx by sending the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly last September, it had yet to be signed into law.

He said, “This year, we have broken the budget jinx. We were able to submit the budget in record time in September and it was passed on December 20, 2012.

“They (members of the National Assembly) have returned the document to us. We have some few things to sort out before it is signed.”

The minister said in all, the Federal Government had managed the nation’s economy well to the extent that it was attracting more foreign investors daily.

Maku said Jonathan, during the FEC, set up an inter-ministerial committee to go round the world and take inventory of Federal Government’s assets abroad that the government needs to work on to add value.