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Benue government vows to prosecute fake workers

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

The Benue State government has warned that fake staff who present themselves for the ongoing modified table payment verification exercise would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

Deputy governor of the state, Benson Abounu who gave the warning while addressing journalists at the commencement of the exercise at Government House, Makurdi hinted that no fewer than 44,000 workers would be screened during the exercise.

Abounu said it was compulsory for the 19,000 civil servants and 25,000 local government employees to appear before the screening committee as a way of verifying the exact number of employees in the state.

He said the exercise would go a long way in ascertaining the state’s wage bill, which has often been over bloated, noting that the issue of salary padding would be eliminated.

“Even before this exercise, we conducted a mock screening exercise with 10 workers out of which three were discovered to have been due for retirement, yet they are still in service.

“We also discovered another case at the Ministry of Health and Human Services, where some administrative officer who are not supposed to be collecting shift allowances are still doing so,” he said.

Meanwhile, some government appointees who spoke to journalists after their screening including the Commissioner for Justice, Mike Gusa, the Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Special Adviser on Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Titus Zam, as well as Commissioner for Agriculture, James Anbua decried the large number of ghost workers in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the state.

He maintained that the exercise would help in fishing out all ghost or fake workers in the state.

The SUBEB chairman decried the menace of ghost workers in the primary education sector, noting that there were over18,000 teachers in the state payroll yet there are complaints of shortage of teachers.


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