The finance ministry is yet to expose fraudsters.
Despite openly campaigning against the squandering of billions of naira as annual wages to fictitious government workers, Nigeria’s finance agencies, including the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation, indeed helped flood government’s nominal roll with thousands of ghost workers, Premium Times reports.
The two offices, alongside sister departments- the office of the Auditor General and that of the Accountant General- all responsible for managing government’s resources and checking abuse – were among agencies with the highest number of fake staff on their nominal rolls.
Together, 46,639 ghost workers were uncovered between 2007 and 2012 in government ministries, departments, and agencies, and they accounted for N118.9 billion in losses to public funds, Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in March.
The huge sum ended in the pockets of corrupt officials who fed non-existent names into the payroll.
But more than four months since informing the nation of the scam, the government has failed to identify the officials responsible and no one has been punished.
New details obtained under the Freedom of Information law has now shown how government agencies scramble to outshine one another in feeding “ghost” names into the nominal roll, with corrupt officials pocketing salaries and allowances earmarked for the fictitious personnel.
The FOI request was filed by the Abuja-based Centre for Social Justice, a well-regarded anti-corruption non profit.
Article Credit: Premium Times