By James Ibechi
When Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom lamented that ghost workers and other forms of sleaze were rife in the state civil service, contributing to the inability of his administration to pay salaries up to date, many took it with a pinch of salt.
Now, only a day into the modified table payment exercise headed by Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, evidences of payroll fraud, where dead and retired civil servants were being used to fraudulently draw salaries, are being uncovered, vindicating the governor.
Engr. Abounu, who made this known at the commencement of the modified stable payment of salaries and screening of civil servants yesterday, confirmed that salary padding had constituted a huge drain on the finances of the government.
His words: “We did a mock screening of civil servants and discovered that of the 10 employees we screened, three of them ought to have been retired but are still in service receiving salaries.
“We also discovered that at the Ministry of Heath, administrative and clerical officers who are not entitled to night and shift allowances, are receiving such allowances.”
The head the screening committee, stated that the exercise which will cover the supposed 19,000 employees of state civil service and 25,000 local government workers will completely eliminate ghost workers in the system.