Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday, announced that government has discovered 37,395 ghost workers on the Federal Civil Service payroll and as a result, the Federal Government lost about N1 billion.
Magu made this revelation at an anti-corruption sensitisation programme organised by the commission for staff of works and housing sectors.
He said that the commission had established a Procurement Fraud Unit for the purpose of handling the increasing number of petitions relating to violations of the Public Procurement Laws.
“EFCC has uncovered 37,395 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service and investigation is still going on.
“Our investigations have so far revealed that the Federal Government has lost close to N1 billion to these ghost workers.
“In regard to procurement fraud, there has been a sharp rise in the number of petitions coming to the commission relating to violations of the Public Procurement Act (2007).
“That is what informed my setting up a Procurement Fraud Unit which has since commenced investigation of procurement fraud cases, with some of those cases already in courts.
“Let me warn that civil servants found guilty under the Public Procurement Act risk terms of imprisonment ranging from five to 10 years, and in addition, may face dismissal from service.
“The commission is determined more than ever before to rid all MDAs of all forms of fraudulent activities.’’
“It is rather sad that over time, the laws, regulations and standard practice governing the operations of the public service are being neglected and often abused, in many cases with impunity.
“The MDAs are expected to be in the forefront of compliance with extant laws and regulations, because they (MDAs), collectively, constitute the engine room of government.
“They are responsible for implementation of government policies and programmes. Therefore, the success or failure of such policies and programmes are fully on the shoulders of public officers.’’