By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Government on Wednesday said it has uncovered 362 ghost workers in the local government areas in the bid to block financial leakages in the system.
The Chairman, Committee on local government staff verification and Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Prof. Adio Folayan disclosed this Wednesday while submitting its report to Governor Kayode Fayemi in his office.
The state government had earlier set up an 11-man committee and seven-man sub- committee to investigate the issue of ghost workers in a bid to eliminate waste in local government expenditure.
Submitting its report, Folayan who noted that the ghost workers were discovered after a thorough and holistic verification exercise, said the state loses the sum of N19.3 million to the absentees on the councils nominal payroll on monthly basis.
He noted that the amount represents salaries and emoluments drawn monthly by 362 ghost workers discovered in the just concluded verification exercise.
In his remarks, Governor Fayemi thanked the committee for the manner it handled the exercise, promising to study the reports and the recommendations.
He said that the money recovered into the state coffer from the ghost workers would be channeled to other government obligations to make life better for the people of the state.
Stressing that government has a duty to block all financial leakages, the governor instructed the Head of Service, Mrs. Peju Babfemi to support the local government service commission in ensuring improved consistency in their payrolls.
He said “This is a matter we need to look into, you can’t sit in Lagos and be earning salaries in Ekiti for work you have not done. But it is our duty to stop that from happening, it is not the duty of the person that is cheating the system.
“The resources available to us is limited, we all know this, some pretend not to know but anyone that has a limited knowledge of government finances will know that already we spent a bulk of what comes to this state on emolument and we have many people who are not public servants or political appointees, yet they too expect that government will touch their lives. The only way we can touch their lives is to fix the road in their community, improve on their schools and their health facilities and that would provide empowerment for them in their community, if we can’t find money to do that.
“After this exercise the Committee said they saved N19.2M on a monthly basis, imagine where that will go. N19.2M on a monthly basis is almost N400M on an annual basis that is coming back to the coffers of the State. That will build two schools conveniently of the type that we have just built. It will meet the obligations that we have to workers in certain areas that are in dire needs of recruitment of workers whether they are health workers or teachers.
“I want to commend you and the chairman of Local Government Service Commission and the entire members, I am glad that NULGE was part of this, I am particularly happy that you included NULGE in the process. It is in the overall interest of the workers,” the Fayemi added.