Anambra Payroll Investigation Reveals 59 Deceased Persons, 369 Ghost Workers

The Anambra State Local Government Service Commission said it had discovered over 427 ghost workers earning salaries from the state government without being staff members.

The Chairman of the Commission, Vin Ezeaka, disclosed this to journalists in Awka, the state capital, on Friday.

Ezeaka said the commission also discovered that about six senior employees at the various local government areas forged their certificates purportedly to have been issued by the Imo State University.

According to him, among the ghost workers include 59 staff of the commission who had died a long time ago, 40 others who had retired and are still on the payroll of the commission, and about 11 others living abroad are on the payroll of the state government.

He said, “The discovery was made during a staff personnel audit launched to sanitise the local government system in the state. In the process, a startling revelation of over 427 workers were discovered to have been on the local government payroll without being staffed.

“Out of the 427 ghost workers uncovered, 59 were staff of the commission who had died a long time ago, 40 others had retired and are still on the payroll of the commission, while about 11 others are staff living abroad whose names were still on the payroll of government.

“Others were some staff members of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe. We discovered 59 deceased staff who are still receiving salaries, 40 retirees also receiving salaries, and above all, we discovered 222 workers on the payroll who nobody could identify as workers in any of the 21 LGAs and we have many of them living abroad and still receiving salaries.

“So we wrote to the Joint Account to remove them from the payroll. Some of them have come to voluntarily retire, but we refused because you can't cheat the government and want to retire.

“We are going to finish our investigation and those we caught in this unholy act will face the full wrath of the law in accordance with civil service rules.

“Apart from this discovery, made at the end of May 2024, something dramatic happened, we descended on the certificate racketeering cartel within the local government system. We set up a committee that came up with reports of people with suspicious certificates working in various local government areas of Anambra State and we then set up a screening committee that indicted so many of them.

“Those indicted were identified and we started investigating the certificates they presented to the committee and went as far as going to the universities whose certificates they brandished and out of the 20 persons who tendered Imo State University certificates, we screened 14 so far, where we discovered that six out of the 14 were fake certificates.

“So we have dealt with that aspect also. It is our duty to sanitise the system in line with the mandate given to us by the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo so that the genuine workers who sacrifice their time and energy can get value for their service and not looters who do not contribute anything to the development of Anambra state.”

The commission chairman further disclosed that the ongoing local government and certificate verification was not for any witch-hunt, but purely to sanitise the system, adding that even senior local government staff, including deputy directors and treasurers, were also sacked for fake certificates.

Ezeaka said those working with forged certificates in the LGA system in the state had been given a grace period to come and voluntarily report themselves or be sacked when the amnesty would elapse.

Last updated on July 15th, 2024 at 11:26 pm

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