By Austin Ogwuda
ASABA- DELTA State Head of Service, Mr. Okechukwu Ofili, Tuesday, confirmed the existence of ghost workers on the payroll of the state government.
He, however, said high level investigation was already in progress to unravel those behind the fraud.
Ofili made this known while speaking at news conference to mark this year’s Public Service Day celebration.
He declined to give details but said: “We have also got reports that a few dead civil servants are still on our payroll and that a few officers who had retired are still being paid salaries.
“I am not saying that these claims may not be correct, but I am also saying that we are investigating these claims at a very high level.
“At my level, I would not want to prejudge any issue. I would not want to make a categorical statement on it as at today because investigations are still going on.
“What I will say is that there have been allegations of ghost workers on our payroll. We are investigating the matter. Government is not sleeping over it and at the appropriate time you (press) will be briefed by the appropriate person.”
On the N18,000 new minimum wage which government had accepted to pay, Ofili said: “We must, however, acknowledge the challenges these salary increases have placed on government given the competing demands for the limited resources.
“The state wage bill has increased to N5,442,585,601 which would be higher by the time the wage bills of Delta State University and State Universal Education Board, which are yet to be captured, are added.
“This development calls for sober reflection as well as public support,” he added, pointing out that the Board of Internal Revenue, BIR, had increased its revenue drive to ensure that appropriate taxes were paid into the state coffers to sustain the payment of the new wage bill among other social services.