By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—COMMITTEE handling the screening and verification exercise of civil servants in Kogi State, has uncovered 3000 accounts operated by ghost workers.
Chairman of the screening exercise, Brig-Gen Paul Okutimo (retd), who announced this yesterday in Lokoja at a briefing, said the committee discovered N20 million being siphoned every month by top civil servant handling the state pension scheme.
Okutimo said: “I promised from the onset that no worker in the state would be unjustly screened out of work. The move is to sanitize the system and ensure that only genuine workers are paid with the state’s resources. From the exercise we discovered that those cabals operate 3000 accounts for ghost workers. One of them operates 63 different accounts, while another has 23 accounts. Some of them use their ATM from ‘diaspora’ while some just get the employment on political patronage and will not come to work but get engaged in others activities.
“Apart from thousands of account numbers opened to service ghost workers in the state, the committee also discovered existence of ghost schools in various parts of the state during the exercise. Many of the schools existed on the records of education secretaries in the local government areas, but the on the spot verification exercise by the committee revealed that such schools were not on ground.”
Though, he did not disclosed the actual figures of the ghost workers so far discovered, but said only those with fake certificates; identified ghost names; those not visible in the offices and those redundant at their duty posts would be recommended for sack.