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Anambra  Uncovers Over 300 Ghost Workers In LG Payroll Scandal

The Anambra State Local Government Service Commission has uncovered over 300 ghost workers fraudulently receiving salaries without fulfilling their job duties. 

This discovery, spearheaded by the Commission’s chairman, Emeka Ezeaka, reveals a widespread scheme involving deceased persons, retirees, and individuals who have relocated or taken other jobs.

The investigation found that 59 deceased persons, 40 retirees, and 222 unidentified workers were still drawing salaries from the state. 

Among the most egregious cases was a former local government employee who had secured a job at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and continued to receive both her pension and salary from the local government. 

Similarly, another individual was traced to Nwafor Orizu College of Education, also drawing dual salaries.

Ezeaka, a legal practitioner appointed by Governor Chukwuma Soludo, defended his actions amid accusations of unfairly targeting local government workers.

 Critics suggest that his efforts are aimed at reducing the state’s payroll at the governor’s behest.

 However, Ezeaka insisted that his mandate is to ensure efficiency and accountability within the local government system.

“The governor gave us a mandate to clear the local government system of ghost workers,” Ezeaka stated.

 “We implemented a biometric attendance register for five months, and after three months, we identified 320 workers across all 21 local governments who never attended work.”

The biometric system revealed that these workers had zero attendance, leading to their removal from the payroll rather than outright dismissal. 

Despite allegations that the biometric machines were faulty, only 110 of the 320 workers came forward to prove their employment status, resulting in the reinstatement of their salaries.

A thorough verification process, involving personnel management heads from all local governments, uncovered various discrepancies. .

Ezeaka noted that some workers had relocated abroad, while others had secured more lucrative jobs but continued to receive salaries from the Anambra State government.

Ezeaka emphasized that his actions were not intended to reduce the wage bill or victimize workers but to ensure that salaries were paid to those who genuinely performed their duties.

 “The intention was for them to show that they are workers, to go to work and do the work they are paid for,” he explained.

This initiative has potentially saved the Soludo administration a significant amount of money. 

Beyond salaries, the fraudulent workers would have eventually claimed retirement benefits and pensions, further burdening the state’s finances.

In response to accusations of seeking favor from Governor Soludo, Ezeaka remarked,

 “The essence of my being appointed is for the governor to be happy with my performance. I cannot quantify how much we have saved the Soludo government in cash.”

 

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