Oyo State Government says it is embracing technology by using biometrics verification to weed out over 16,000 suspected ghost workers from the civil service system.
Alhaji Olalekan Alli, Secretary to the Oyo State Government says the state is deploying the technology to ascertain the true status of over 16,000 workers and pensioners temporarily expunged from its payroll.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]After the forensic computerised data audit, the consultants from NIBSS found many instances of inconsistencies, variations and entry details that did not tally involving 16, 532 employees out of 100,250 analysed, Oyo State Government says. The SSG says that the audit exercise reveals cases of multiple salary payments into single account; multiple salary payment to single name; employees that have passed retirement age; invalid BVN; invalid bank accounts and name details and employees with mismatched names. [/quote]The decision was taken following alleged collection of multiple salaries, elongation of retirement age and other infractions, Alli says at a press conference held at the Parliament Building in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Those affected were drawn from a total 100,259 workers and pensioners screened from the state’s ministries, departments and parastatals. Others include the teaching service, local government, Broadcasting Service of Oyo State (BCOS), judiciary, Water Corporation and tertiary institutions.
Secretary to the Oyo State Government says that the exercise will aid monitoring workers’ attendance, efficiency, productivity and service delivery while asking community elders and the citizenry to monitor workers and government facilities in their domains.
According to him, the decision to wield the big stick was reached after a forensic verification exercise conducted by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS) that revealed the likely existence of ghost workers within the Oyo State public service.
The exercise was part of ongoing efforts by the Oyo State to clean up its payroll of fake workers and pensioners fleecing the state of its commonwealth, the SSG says noting that “more heads would roll” when a planned biometric screening was conducted.
He says that the affected 16,532 people would have opportunity to clear their names when they appear before a four-member panel being constituted by the government to authenticate findings by the NIBSS.
According to him, to erase doubts and allay fears of witch-hunting, the panel would comprise representatives of the government, the consultants and the workers’ union, while the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance of Oyo State, would serve as secretary.
“Further to the continuing efforts of Oyo State Government to eliminate fraud and errors in the payment of salaries, wages and pensions as well as to determine ghost workers, Oyo State government embarked on an employee verification exercise.
“We want to ascertain the actual number of employees in the regular employment of the state by various categories, determine who is a bonafide beneficiary of the salaries, wages and pensions being paid by government”, Alli says.
According to him, “we will ascertain the level of compliance in respect of mode and format of payment of salaries, e.g payment into bank accounts ensuring recipients have the mandatory Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) and BVN numbers.”
After the forensic computerised data audit, the consultants from NIBSS found many instances of inconsistencies, variations and entry details that did not tally involving 16, 532 employees out of 100,250 analysed, Oyo State Government says.
The SSG says that the audit exercise reveals cases of multiple salary payments into single account; multiple salary payment to single name; employees that have passed retirement age; invalid BVN; invalid bank accounts and name details and employees with mismatched names.
“The salaries of the 16,532 employees will be immediately suspended pending further investigation; multiple salary payments would be determined; refunds pursued and legal actions embarked upon accordingly”, he says.
“We will recover all monies credited into accounts but not accessed for all categories. All the employees concerned should face a further verification panel to be constituted by His Excellency, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, with adequate time line.
“It’s the intention of government to resume regular payment of salaries to staffers that are deserving of payment while those with cases to answer would be given room to defend themselves”, the SSG says.
He promises that findings by the proposed panel would be made public while adding that any of the affected people found to have been wrongly categorised as ghost worker would be reinstated.