Local Govt Official Planted 300 Ghost Workers In LG Payroll, Kogi Governor Reveals
The ongoing screening of Kogi State Civil Service has continued to throw up more shocking revelations as the committee has discovered one official who allegedly planted 300 ghost workers in the payroll of the state civil service.
The fraud was discovered in one local government in the state last week.
Two weeks ago, the screening committee discovered that the Registrar of the Kogi State College of Education (Technical) was found to have issued 200 letters of employment on the eve of the commencement of the screening ordered by the state Governor , Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Speaking at a civic reception for him on Saturday in Okene, the governor said his administration would not spare those behind the ghost workers’ scam after the ongoing staff screening exercise.
The governor, who was addressing a crowd at the Ohinoyi Civics Centre, venue of the reception in Okene, said the ghost workers’ scam had constituted a clog in the wheel of development of the state.
The governor said, “It is ridiculous to discover that a single person, without an iota of fear of God, planted as many as 300 ghost workers in the payroll of a local government.”
He however vowed to prosecute the perpetrator of such heinous act, while also assuring Kogites that after the screening exercise, “it is only the actual workers that will be taking salaries from the state and local governments.
“This one person is just one of many in the business of siphoning public funds into their private pockets. We will ensure that the law takes its course with those suspected of putting ghost workers into the system so that it will serve as a deterrent to others,” Bello said.
Bello, who maintained that workers’ welfare was his priority, said the state government had paid two months’ salaries in less than two months of the present administration.
“The temptation to use the money available for other things was great, but we have chosen to prioritise the welfare of our workers. In that regard, we have paid two salaries in less than two months.
“We paid the first batch of salaries across board and without asking too many questions even though we knew the nominal rolls were compromised. This was to help actual workers who needed money to handle their responsibilities.
“The second batch we paid with the personal guarantee of the head of each Ministry, Department and Agency because we reasoned that change begins with each one of us, and a leader should know those working under his immediate supervision,” he said.
Earlier, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, had solicited the cooperation and support for the governor to enable him to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
The royal father, who emphasised the need for peaceful co-existence of the people irrespective of their ethnicity and religion, pointed out that crises would do the state no good.
“I am appealing to my people, and indeed, the entire people of the state to let peace prevail among us. It is only in the atmosphere of peace that we can see and enjoy more dividends of democracy,” he noted.