No fewer than 23,306 names are to be deleted from the Federal Government’s payroll. A team probing multiple salary payments recommended 23,306 civil servants and some banks for thorough investigations.
The government has started deleting the indicted civil servants from its payroll, The Nation learnt yesterday.
It was also learnt that some of those affected have tendered their resignation letters to pre-empt dismissal from service and prosecution.
According to a source, of 312,306 civil servants, whose bank accounts have so far been checked through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) platform, 23,306 have issues with their accounts.
The source claimed that with the adoption of the BVN for salary payment, the Federal Ministry of Finance has so far checked the details of about 312,000 civil servants— a development said to have led to the discovery of many irregularities in salary payment.
“Out of the accounts of about 312,000 civil servants processed so far, the ministry was said to have uncovered irregularities in the account of about 23,306 of them, who were suspected to have been collecting double salary.
“These indicted individuals are in two categories. In the first group, we found out that the names of some civil servants, whose salaries are being processed, are different from the names on the accounts where their salaries are paid. What this means is either those in this category are drawing salary from two sources (which could be different agencies), or they are ghost workers,” the source said.
The source added that the probe also showed that salaries were being paid to some inactive accounts, thus raising the suspicion that government was merely making payment to ghost workers.
But it was gathered yesterday that the Federal Government has placed some banks under watch for their roles in the salary scam.
The probe panel was said to have discovered that some of the inactive accounts were domiciled in a particular branch of a bank.
It was learnt that over 300 accounts of some civil servants were opened on the same day and all of them have become dormant.
The Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media Matters, Mr. Festus Akanbi, said last night, “The public will be appropriately briefed when the full report is ready.”
The adoption of the BVN became inevitable due to the failure of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to effectively deal with the issue of ghost workers in the federal civil service.
A source in the ministry explained that the strategy of using BVN rather than requiring the physical presence of each worker “significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the project and at a lower cost than previously incurred”.