In a bid to cut costs, reduce corruption, and improve efficiency, the Ministry of Finance has said that it has sacked more than 20,000 ghost workers from the federal government’s payroll following an audit, which has led to savings of $11.53 million (N2.29 billion) from its monthly wage bill.
The Federal Ministry of Finance had earlier announced the successful completion of a pilot programme which uses Bank Verification Number (BVN) details to check for ghost workers and identify duplicate and other irregular entries on the payroll. The Bank Verification Number is a number that uniquely identifies each bank’s customer for “know your customer” (KYC) purposes.
According to Reuters, the Ministry also confirmed that the wage bill for February 2016 reduced by N2.29 billion compared with December 2015, when the auditing process began.
Here is what Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance had to say:
“We believe that the use of BVN rather than requiring physical presentation as a first line check on the integrity of our payroll is a cost effective and efficient measure. This will accelerate the pace of enrollment on IPPIS as well as identify anomalies which can be flagged for further investigation and review.”
“To date, despite over 5 years since initiation of the project, just 20% of public employees have actually been enrolled onto IPPIS due to a variety of reasons. As part of our public financial management reforms, we are committed to scrutinizing our largest single expense item. Personnel related costs account for over 40% of government expenditure and must be prudently managed to ensure the validity of every payment. We are therefore determined that everyone who collects a salary form the Federal Purse is on the IPPIS system.”
Mrs. Adeosun assured that “genuine staff have nothing to be concerned about but those who are collecting multiple salaries and those engaged in any type of payroll fraud are guaranteed to be caught out.”
The Ministry of Finance has also built in controls to counteract those seeking to transfer their salary receiving accounts to micro-finance, mortgage bank and other non BVN accounts in order to evade detection.