The Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN) registration recently imposed on Nigerians by the government has interestingly revealed 23,306 ghost names on the Federal Government’s payroll.
Reports reveal that, of 312,306 civil servants, whose bank accounts have so far been checked by a panel set up by the Ministry of Finance, through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) platform, 23,306 have issues with their accounts.
The adoption of the BVN became inevitable due to the failure of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to effectively deal with the issue of ghost workers in the federal civil service.
The government has started deleting the indicted civil servants from its payroll, with some of those affected tendering their resignation letters to pre-empt dismissal from service and prosecution.
A source from the panel of the Federal Ministry of Finance said,
Out of the accounts of about 312,000 civil servants processed so far, the ministry was said to have uncovered irregularities in the account of about 23,306 of them, who were suspected to have been collecting double salary.
These indicted individuals are in two categories. In the first group, we found out that the names of some civil servants, whose salaries are being processed, are different from the names on the accounts where their salaries are paid. What this means is either those in this category are drawing salary from two sources (which could be different agencies), or they are ghost workers.
The Federal Government has placed some banks under watch for their roles in the salary scam, with the probe panel discovering that some of the inactive accounts were domiciled in a particular branch of a bank.
Government’s suspicions of ghost workers were confirmed when the panel discovered that salaries were being paid to some inactive accounts. Over 300 accounts of some civil servants were opened on the same day and all of them have become dormant, the NATION reports.
The Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media Matters, Mr. Festus Akanbi, has assured the public that it will be appropriately briefed when the full report is ready.