Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Government says it has uncovered 3,460 ghost workers currently on the payroll of the 23 local governments in the state.
State Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Dr. Bem Melladu who made this known on Monday when he presented the Commission’s report to Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House in Makurdi disclosed that out of a total of 18,426 employees, only 14,966 turned up for verification.
He explained further that during the verification exercise, names of deceased staff on the payroll, salary padding, redundancy as well as falsification of retirement dates among other fraudulent practices were also uncovered at the third tier of government in the state.
Melladu assured that the exercise would help reduce the huge wage bill of local governments in the state and make more funds available for projects and recommended prompt action to sanitize the system.
Responding, Governor Ortom who lamented the decay in the local government system, assured that the State Executive Council would deliberate on the Local Government Service Commission’s report in its next meeting.
The Governor, while commending the courage and commitment of Chairman of the Commission and his team to the assignment, also noted that his administration would take proactive measures to plug the leakages and reposition the local governments.