From Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
LESS than three weeks after Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, blew the lid over 23,000 ghost workers on the Federal Government payroll, a fresh 11, 000 ghost workers are now being investigated.
The matter was taken to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which has already approved further investigations.
”President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, to strengthen controls of federal government expenditures in the country and enhance transparency,” the minister said.
Adeosun disclosed to State House Correspondents yesterday that government has commenced the second phase of investigation of another potential 11,000 ghost workers on the pay roll.
The finance minister said her ministry was busy using what she called computer techniques to investigate the 11,000 affected persons.
She said as soon as the the cases are resolved, Nigerians would be informed of the amount saved and the number of people removed again from the payroll.
“On the issue of ghost workers, of the 23,000 that we have removed, our payroll has reduced by N2.29 billion per month.
“We are currently investigating another potential 11,000 fake workers on the payroll…Again, we are using computer techniques to identify those we need to investigate.
”So, we are now looking at the second batch and as we resolve those cases, we would inform you of the amount saved and the number of people removed.”
She also explained that government felt that the “continuous audit work should not just be limited to payroll; there is actually need to strengthen internal audit across government.”
Adeosun also said the World Bank has indicated readiness to support the audit but recognised that it would about take six months to get the required legislation done.
“So, as an interim, we have agreed to do the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audits which will give backing to the work we are currently doing and will allow us to extend this work beyond payroll to other areas of expenditure.”
Adeosun added that “FEC deliberated extensively about the need for this and agreed that the control framework over finance and spending of government’s money needed to be strengthened, especially in anticipation of the approval of the budget, which is an extended budget”.