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Imo Uncovers Payroll Fraud As Governor Vows to End the Scam

By Ignatius Okpara, Owerri 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The governor Hope Uzodinma led administration in Imo, state, South- East Nigeria, says it has uncovered a total of 1,000 ghost workers in the state civil service, with a vow to end the endemic rot in the system.

He made this known in Owerri, after a crucial meeting with Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State.

The Governor expressed surprise and shock over the alarming level of rot and fraud discovered in the Civil and Public Service sector in the state and vowed to end the abnormally with immediate effect.

Also speaking with newsmen shortly at the end of the meeting , which also involved commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Parastatals in the state, the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba stated that huge revenue has been lost by the State Government due to double entries in salary payroll.

According to him, people used fictitious names and additional Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to short-change the state government, adding that about 1,000 ghost workers have been linked to the scam with some earning salaries and pensions at the same time.

The commissioner warned that it will no longer be business as usual for Head of Departments, Directors of Accounts and other Heads of Agencies that pay deaf ear to the misdeeds, stressing that Governor Uzodimma has charged all Departmental Heads to put their house in order and come up with realistic payroll figures and a new e-payment compliant organogram.

Emelumba further explained that the new organogram would henceforth entail new Identity Card Management system, stating that employment history with pay points and pay slips will be provided every month as is the custom in every responsible government system.

In his comment,  the state Commissioner for Finance, Chuk Chukemeka stated that about one billion naira (N1bn) has been lost as a result of salary to ghost workers in the state, stressing  that the heads of ministries and parastatals must change their dance tone in order to actualize the Reconstruction Rehabilitation and Recovery (‘3R’) mantra of Governor Uzodimma’s administration to reposition the state.

He said that Governor Uzodimma has charged the revenue points of the state to raise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of the government, as that is the only way to realize the lofty goals of the present administration.

According to him, the present administration under governor Uzodinma’s watch is determined to ensure  that the Single Treasury Account (TSA) system must be fully implemented in the state, with a view to  plunging all revenue leakages.

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