As Bauchi State government grapples with the problem or ghost workers and carries out reforms to sanitise the system, it says it has lost over N1.062 billion to ghost workers and pensioners between June, 2016 and January, 2020.
This revelation was made by the Commissioner of Finance, Umar Sanda, while briefing journalists on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday.
Sanda said findings of the state and local governments payrolls uncovered mind-bugling fraud on the issue of ghost workers from June, 2016 to January, 2020 involving 259 ghost workers.
He said in the state193 people were involved while over N270 million was lost in the fraud while at the local government payroll, there are 66 people who have collected over N792 million.
He said the total amount of fraud for both the state and local government payrolls is N1.062 billion.”
Sanda said that those employed in the pre-service scheme including doctors, nurses, radiographers and other medical staff that were bonded based on the amount they spent by the time they finished, absconded l.
“instead of them to come back and work because they are still in the employment of the state government but they ran away and took appointment elsewhere,’ he lamented.
“So the decision taken by the Council that a letter should be written to them so that they can come back serve their Bond and if they refuse, they should be prosecuted.”
On the issue of prosecution, he said that the government has been arresting the culprits however saying that the exercise is an ongoing process.
“We’ve been arresting the culprits but the problem is that they always change their names. We’ve not taken any definite decision on where to take the culprits because it is an ongoing process.
“Some of the civil servants so far found guilty are interrogation with the DSS. At the first instance, those arrested were sent to the Police while the leader of the syndicate is with the DSS undergoing interrogation.
“As we are discovering them, we’ll hand them over to the security agencies. We are liasing with the Attorney general and Commissioner of Justice that the names of those found guilty will be published in the National Dailies,” he stated.
The Commissioner added that: “His Excellency has vowed that he wants to leave a legacy, to make the issue of these ghost workers, a thing of the past.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aliyu Maigoro said that the government will not spare those fingered among the ghost medical personnel.
He said: “Those doctors that absconded, we are going after them. We are working with the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in order to ensure that we prosecute them.
“We will also go after those who went on study leave without approval.”
He said that a total of 1,279 ghostb workers including 100 doctors were detected in his Ministry so far.