The Abia State Government has unearthed a staggering 2,300 ghost workers within its payroll system, resulting in a remarkable cost-saving of over N220 million on monthly wage bills.
The discovery was made during an extensive verification exercise targeting civil servants and public workers in the state.
State Accountant General, Deaconess Njum Onyemenam, announced this significant achievement during a press conference held in Umuahia following her meeting with Governor Dr. Alex Otti on Monday.
She attributed the remarkable savings to the implementation of a unified payment system, which effectively weeded out fraudulent entries from the state’s payroll.
The ongoing verification process, which has already yielded substantial results, is expected to uncover even more ghost workers, according to Onyemenam.
With the unified payment system in place, the Accountant General expressed optimism that the state government would continue to make significant financial savings in the future.
“Our diligent efforts in the verification of workers in the state, local governments, and pensioners have resulted in a remarkable saving of N220 million,” Onyemenam stated.
“Through the unified payment system, we have successfully identified and eliminated not less than 2,300 ghost names from the payrolls. We remain committed to pursuing this exercise until we have thoroughly cleansed our payroll system.”
In addition to the substantial savings, Governor Otti recently issued a directive for the settlement of outstanding arrears, ensuring that workers receive their April salaries, which were left unpaid by the previous administration.
Furthermore, June pensions owed to retirees will also be disbursed promptly, emphasizing the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of its employees.
Addressing a minor setback encountered during the payment process, Onyemenam revealed that local government staff who were omitted from the June payroll due to their failure to submit verified payment schedules would receive their salaries this week.