Governor Alex Otti-led government of Abia State has saved the state over N200 million on the monthly wage bill by cutting off some alleged ghost workers from the civil service.
The development was confirmed in a press release on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Otti, Kazie Uko.
According to Uko, the huge funds were recovered following an ongoing verification of civil servants and other public workers that eliminated the ghost workers from the state’s payroll.
The statement quoted the State Accountant General, Njum Onyemenam, to have revealed that the saving was made using a unified payment system.
She confirmed that workers had received the payment of April salaries as well as June pensions to retirees.
Onyemenam disclosed this on Monday after a meeting with Governor Otti. She explained that the verification exercise was still ongoing and that the government hoped to make more savings.
“So far, we have been able to save N220 million from the ongoing verification of workers in the state, local governments and pensioners.
“Not less than 2,300 ghost names have been weeded out of the payrolls, using the unified payment system, and we hope to identify more still as we continue with the exercise,” the Accountant General said.
She confirmed that following Governor Otti’s directive, the government had last week paid the arrears of April salaries, left behind by the immediate past administration and also June pensions to retirees.
The Accountant General also noted that local government staff, who had been skipped when the June salaries were paid due to their failure to submit their verified payment schedule, will receive their salaries this week.