Benue State has made a significant breakthrough in its efforts to cleanse the payroll system of local government areas, as it recently discovered over 2,500 ghost workers within its 23 local governments. This revelation came to light in a press statement issued by Governor Hyacinth Alia, who expressed the need to address past administrative manipulations and ensure the proper disbursement of salaries to deserving employees.
Governor Alia’s Chief Press Secretary, Kula Tersoo, revealed that the delay in paying salaries to teachers in primary and post-primary schools, as well as local government staff, was attributed to the necessity of tackling fraudulent activities and padding of wage bills perpetrated during the previous administration.
The probe into the local government’s activities during the past administration exposed shocking instances of mindless wage bill padding and payroll manipulation. As a result, Governor Alia made the decision to conduct an extensive staff verification and payroll audit for all teachers and local government employees to identify genuine workers and remove ghost workers from the system.
The governor emphasized that the first phase of the verification and audit has been successfully concluded, leading to the removal of more than 2,500 ghost workers from the payroll. Among the payroll infractions discovered during the audit were ghost workers, fictitious schools, double dipping, unlawful employment, salary padding, payments to deceased or retired individuals, and unauthorized replacements.
Governor Alia assured that workers who passed the screening would receive their salaries by the end of the week. Furthermore, the state government is taking comprehensive measures to protect the payroll system from future fraudulent activities, ensuring transparency and accuracy in salary disbursements.
To facilitate a thorough investigation into alleged maladministration in the council areas, Governor Alia suspended all 23 local government chairmen. This move reflects the government’s commitment to tackling corruption and ensuring accountability in the management of public resources.
As Benue State takes these crucial steps towards payroll transparency and accountability, it paves the way for a more efficient and fair system, providing genuine workers with the remuneration they rightfully deserve.