The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government had uncovered 37,395 ghost workers on the Federal Civil Service payroll and that the government lost about N1 billion to them.
The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu,who announced the figure at an anti-corruption sensitization programme, said that apart from the widespread procurement frauds in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the issue of ghost workers was a source of serious concern for the commission.
“EFCC has uncovered 37,395 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service and investigation is still going on. Our investigations have so far revealed that the Federal Government has lost close to N1 billion to these ghost workers.”
He said the figure will definitely increase as they unravel more ghost workers buried deep in the federal civil service payrolls. He however said that the commission had established a procurement fraud unit to handle the increasing number of petitions relating to violations of the public procurement laws.
“In regard to procurement fraud, there has been a sharp rise in the number of petitions coming to the commission relating to violations of the Public Procurement Act (2007).
“That is what informed my setting up a Procurement Fraud Unit which has since commenced investigation of procurement fraud cases, with some of those cases already in courts.”
He therefore warned that civil servants found guilty under the Public Procurement Act risk terms of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years, and in addition, may face dismissal from service, as the commission is determined more than ever before to rid all MDAs of all forms of fraudulent activities.
Magu also announced that the commission plans to place suggestion boxes at designated places for people to drop petitions and reports of corrupt practices, to assist the commission in the fight against corruption.