Nigeria removes 24,000 ghost workers

LAGOS - The Nigerian government has removed nearly 24,000 workers from its payroll after an audit revealed they did not exist, the Finance Ministry has said.

The move has enabled a monthly saving of around $11,5m (£8m).

The audit is part of an anti-corruption campaign by President Muhammadu Buhari, who took power last year.

Corruption and mismanagement have long been a challenge to Nigeria's growth, and the government has promised to cut costs to face an economic slowdown.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy and the continent's top oil producer, and its finances are under strain due to the recent collapse in oil prices.

The country has also faced rising inflation, a stock market slump and the slowest pace of economic growth in more than a decade.

The audit started in December used biometric data and a bank verification number to identify holders of bank accounts into which salaries were being paid, Reuters news agency reports.

This process allowed the identification of some workers who were receiving a salary that did not correspond to the names linked to the bank accounts.

It also revealed that some employees were receiving salaries from multiple sources.

Some 23,846 non-existent workers were removed from the payroll, an adviser to the finance minister was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Periodic checks and electronic audit techniques will be periodically carried out to prevent new frauds, the ministry said.

Officials have said the savings resulted from the anti-corruption measures will help the country tackle its crisis and prevent job cuts.

Comments (6)

Its a good example that is happening in Nigeria and the Tanzania that leaders are in the forefront of cutting expenditure, thus against the culture of man like Mugabe, Mswati and others. In Zimbabwe the president who is 92 years throws a birth party worth nearly a million. If all the 36 birthday celebrations money have been converted into giving the people, how may would have benefited. Its a shame. I therefore implore leaders like Tsvangirai or Makoni never to emulate such. If there are to have a birthday remembrance let it be a period of self introspect, let them reflect on how their lives could benefit others not the way this dictator is. Many Zimbabweans can not even celebrate even a single birthday because the man has run down the health facilities where children are supposed to be born. How many woman have died due to maternal complication. Rural Hosipitals and other similar facilities are none functional. DDF that use to up grade rural roads so that urban areas are linked with rural areas so that health next works are linked, is now history. His government has run it down. Zinara a similar replacement is completely dead you only see its presence on highways where they are busy on toll gates and border posts taking money for Mugabe. You never see these guys rehabilitating roads. Yet a masquerading liberator claims he sacrificed his life for Zimbabwe. What sacrifice, he is ruining that little remaining life.

amina - 1 March 2016

The mind boggles how this sort of thing goes on for so long without a red flag going up somewhere hey! *gasp!*

Rawboy - 1 March 2016

In Zimbabwe 75000 ghost workers were identified 6 yeras ago during GNU but they are still on the payroll even though Treasury has difficulties in financing expenditures. The govt has no money and due to drought has asked the international community for food aid amounting to USD 1.6 billion. In the mean time a birthy party was recently held for the President in Masvingo costing a USD1 million. The President recently donated 300 cattle to the organisation of African Union while the masses are starving in the country. Our priorities are just upside down and our messages are contradictory.

Honda - 1 March 2016

In Zimbabwe 75000 ghost workers were identified 6 yeras ago during GNU but they are still on the payroll even though Treasury has difficulties in financing expenditures. The govt has no money and due to drought has asked the international community for food aid amounting to USD 1.6 billion. In the mean time a birthy party was recently held for the President in Masvingo costing a USD1 million. The President recently donated 300 cattle to the organisation of African Union while the masses are starving in the country. Our priorities are just upside down and our messages are contradictory.

Honda - 1 March 2016

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