Shocking revelations have emerged from the Kogi State Government about huge losses amounting to about N213 Billion in the past 16 years.
The shocking disclosure was made by the Kogi State Auditor General, Alhaji Yusufu Okala on Monday.
Okala said that the state lost approximately N213,034,857,280.44, to a category of persons he called “Ghost Workers/Unintended Beneficiaries.”
The Auditor revealed this when submitting the report of the Staff Screening and Validation Committee to the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, at a Stakeholders Forum held in Government House, Lokoja, on Monday.
The committee was jointly led by Okala and the Auditor General of the Local Governments Areas, Mallam Usman Ahmed Ododo.
Kogi State Lost N216Billion To Ghost Workers
The committee was set up by Governor Bello with the mandate to review and authenticate the report earlier submitted by the Staff Screening and Verification Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Jerry Agbaji.
According to Alhaji Okala,
“As at the time of inaugurating the Staff Screening and Verification Committee on February 22, 2016, the total staff on the nominal payroll of the State (State MDAs and Local Governments) was 88, 973 with monthly wage bill of N 5,809,578,703.72.
“However, after the conclusion of this exercise on July 24, 2016, the cleared and validated workforce is 63, 870.”
Reacting to the disclosure, Governor Bello lamented the colossal loss recorded by the state through the syndrome.
He affirmed that his administration had put a permanent stop to financial theft in the state.
The Governor further revealed that the screening exercise was the first layer of civil service reform, embarked upon by his administration.
He also mentioned that he was determined to reposition the State Civil Service to play a vital role in driving economic growth in the state.
In the same vein, recommendations made by the committee include: Computerizing the Payroll System of the State, Local Government workforce and Pensioners; Centralising Payroll Processing; Biometric Data Capture for All State and Local Governments Staff; and Introduction of Pre-Disbursement Audit for Salary Payment among others.
The Governor has set up a review Committee to entertain complaints that may arise from the screening exercise.
The 11-man committee is expected to submit its report within 21 days.