Saturday, 19 March 2016

Ghost Workers Receive N170.29m Monthly In Benue

The Benue State Government spends N170, 290, 870 as salaries on ghost workers every month.

Biometric Audit Consultant, Prince Mkpang, stated this while submitting the Report of Biometric Audit of Benue Civil Service to Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi on Tuesday.

Mkpang explained that after the Automatic Finger Print Identification, only 17,962 staff members were active employees in the state’s civil service.

This is apart from the 1,011 judiciary staff members that are now independent.

Mkpang said: “Staff headcount as at September 2015 is 20, 220 with a gross salary of N2.5 billion. Today, with the biometric audit staff headcount, the state has 17,962 with a wage bill of N2.3 billion.

“This shows a headcount difference of 2,258 and a gross difference of N259 million per month. However, the judiciary staff, numbering 1,011 with a gross salary of N88.8 million did not avail themselves of the exercise.

“This means that 1, 261 staff with a gross salary of N170, 290, 870 can be classified as ghost workers on the payroll until proven otherwise.”

Mkpang said 359 employees due for retirement by virtue of either date of birth or maximum length of service between January and February 2016 were still in the service.

The consultant said 171 staff due for retirement before September 2015 were still on the payroll, while 111 staff falsified their records on grounds of age disparity.

Mkpang further said 90 staff with serious medical conditions that cannot work, were captured, adding that 1,500 staff members were yet to be confirmed after several years in the service.

He disclosed that they had created an electronic file (e-file), which contained career profile and qualifications for each civil servant.

Gov. Ortom said government would look into the report and make necessary corrections for immediate implementation.

The Benue State House of Assembly  passed the second supplementary appropriation bill 2015 of over N24.5 billion. Highlight of the bill as passed shows that the recurrent expenditure is N12.5 billion while capital expenditure stood at N12 billion.

Leading the debate in the Committee of Supply, Chairman of the Appropriation committee, Mr Adam Okloho (APC-Adoka/Ugboju), said that his committee unraveled that most of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state indulge in extra budgetary expenditure, stressing that the state government had paid the backlog of salary arrears of N12.5 billion with the bailout fund without complaints.

Contributing, Mr Ianna Jato (PDP-Katsina-Ala East) called on Benue workers to furnish the house with complaints concerning the disbursement of the bailout fund if any to enable the house tackle them on their behalf.

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