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Ekiti state government has discovered that it loses N19.3 million to ghost workers on a monthly basis across the local government areas of the state.
This was disclosed on Wednesday in a report submitted by the committee on Local Government Staff Verification set up by the state government.
The governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi had earlier in the year set up an 11-member committee and seven- member sub- committee headed by Professor Adio Folayan, who is also Commissioner for Local Government Affairs.
The committee’s major task was to investigate the issue of ghost workers in a bid to block financial loopholes in the Local Government System
According to the report, the sum of N19.3 million was being drawn by 362 ghost workers monthly from the local government areas in the state.
According to the report which was submitted to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi in his office, noted that the 362 absentees (workers) were discovered on the payroll of the local government service after thorough screening and verification
While speaking after receiving the report, Governor Fayemi thanked the committee for the professional manner it handled the exercise and promised to study the reports as well as the recommendations.
He said the bulk of the money accrued to the state coffers goes into the payment of salaries and emolument, adding that government had to look for creative ways to ensure provision of amenities such as good roads, improved education system, better health care services, safe environment and empowerment.
Dr. Fayemi said the money recovered into the state coffer from the ghost workers would be used to attend to other government obligations to workers in the State.
He stressed that government has a duty to block all financial leakages in the system, Dr Fayemi instructed the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babfemi to use her experience in supporting the Local Government Service Commission in ensuring improved consistency in their payrolls.
The governor said; “This is a matter we need to look into, you can’t sit in Lagos and be earning salaries in Ekiti for work you have not done. But it is our duty to stop that from happening, it is not the duty of the person that is cheating the system.
“The resources available to us is limited, we all know this, some pretend not to know but anyone that has a limited knowledge of government finances will know that already we spent a bulk of what comes to this state on emolument and we have many people who are not public servants or political appointees, yet they too expect that government will touch their lives.”
The only way we can touch their lives is to fix the road in their community, improve on their schools and their health facilities and that would provide empowerment for them in their community, if we can’t find money to do that.
“After this exercise the Committee said they saved N19.2M on a monthly basis, imagine where that will go. N19.2M on a monthly basis is almost N400M on an annual basis that is coming back to the coffers of the State. That will build two schools conveniently of the type that we have just built. It will meet the obligations that we have to workers in certain areas that are in dire needs of recruitment of workers whether they are health workers or teachers.”