By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Over 6,499 ghost workers have been discovered on the payroll of the 23 local government councils of Benue State, following the introduction of e-payment system.
The Spevial Adviser to the Governor, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Titus Zam, made this known yesterday at the ongoing accountability briefing by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, with the Ministry of Information in Makurdi.
Zam said: “It may be recalled that attempts were made in 2013, 2014 and early part of 2015 by the immediate past administration to introduce the e-payment payroll system, but it was abandoned.
“The present administration felt it was a good programme and continued with it so that the actual number of staff of the third tier of government could be ascertained. A complaint verification committee with membership drawn from the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy, Affairs, Local Government Service Commission, and Office of the Accountant General was set up for the assignment.
“At the end of the exercise, the staff strength of the 23 local government councils of the state came down from 29,000 to 22,501.”
Zam explained that during the screening, over 900 workers, who were fraudulently employed in Obi council were also relieved of their appointments.