ONDO State government has discovered discrepancies in its verification of status of workers, its Commissioner for Information Kayode Akinmade, said at the weekend.
He noted that the state’s huge wage bill compelled the government to embark on another round of verification just about a year after a similar exercise to weed out ghost workers and pensioners.
Akinmade, who spoke at a parley in Lagos, lamented that almost the total amount accruing to the state from the Federation Account is spent on wages, leaving little or nothing for development.
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Some workers, the commissioner said, had been discovered to be receiving salaries meant for grade levels higher than their levels.
“In other instances, those who have died, resigned from service or retired were still earning salaries and emoluments from government,” Akinmade said.
He added that at a primary school in Ikaramu-Akoko, someone, who died about a year ago, was discovered to be receiving salary.
“Faceless people, using the names of the retirees and the dead are being paid,” the commissioner added.
But he was optimistic that the government would save a lot of money after the verification.
Akinmade said it might translate to saving the state from salary payment inconveniences.
“About a year ago, a verification exercise was carried out in the MDAs after which we digitalised our payroll system. Despite the high number of retirees in the last one year, which should have naturally translated into reduction in wage, the reverse has been the case.
“So, we have embarked on a fresh verification and all members of the state executive council are involved in this round of verification, which has been quite revealing.
“Many who have died in various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are also discovered to still be collecting salaries. Another major discovery was workers who are on Level Two, but are receiving Level 12 salaries. Some people on Level Four, who are receiving Level 14 salaries. We also have people who have even left the country, still receiving salaries,” the commissioner alleged.
Akinmade, who revealed that some workers were arrested for impersonation, said those on the payroll were made to come forward with their last promotion letters to make the exercise painless.
He added that in the course of this, somebody on Level Nine was discovered to be receiving salary of a level 14 officer.
”So many discoveries were made. Now we are talking about bailout; if it comes, should we be using this to pay ghost workers? It’s a big challenge but we will get through it,” he said.
On the government’s effort to create a databank to enable government implement its programmes, Akinmade noted that the registration for Kaadi Igbeayo was targeted at getting the data of residents for proper planning and decision-making.