Ondo uncovers 6,000 ghost workers on LG payrolls
By Dayo Johnson
Akure — NO fewer than 6,000 ghost workers have been uncovered by Ondo State Government following the outcome of a staff audit committee it set up.
The government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Rotimi Adelola, said “the discovery of monumental fraud in phantom recruitment exercise carried out at the local councils where unauthorised recruitment of unqualified workers or none existing individuals whose names are being used to deduct salaries from the local government’s accounts on monthly basis were discovered.
The statement said the probe committee, in the course of its investigation, observed that the difference in nominal roles of the local councils between December 2008 and December 2012 was over 10,000 staff claimed to have been employed.
Also included in the committee’s interim report, according to the statement, was the discovery of over 6,000 junior workers and about 4,000 senior workers recruited within the same period without following due process.
According to the statement, “before any recruitment could be done at the local government level, the express approval of the state governor should be sought and the local government chairmen should consider if they have the fund to pay the wages of such new recruits.”
It noted, however, that nothing of such was done in the case of the affected workers, explaining that most of the names of workers claimed to have been recruited in the illegal recruitment exercise were non-existent, saying: “The names given as workers recruited at the time of the illegal recruitment are fictitious names being used by the council operators to dupe the state. And the few of names that could be traced are those of school pupils and family friends who collect salaries for rendering no service.”
“In the last two and half years, the state government has been augmenting the salaries of local government workers in the state with between N400 and N500 million monthly. It became imperative to arrest the ever rising high cost even without any known addition to the work force, hence the formation of the audit committee which activities have exposed the can of worms at the local councils.”
The government lamented that the development made it possible for a few to steal government money which could have been used to add value to the lives of the people, vowing that the perpetrators of the dastard act would not go unpunished.