The Nigerian government has planned to retrieve all pension payments made to ‘ghost workers’ on its payroll.
The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, on Monday, said this during a Live conversation on Facebook.
She said the ministry of finance in association with the National Pension Commission, will recover the pensions earlier paid into the Retirement Savings Accounts of known ghost workers. According to her, 53,000 ghost workers had so far been removed from the Federal Government payroll.
“The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit came in so that they can check the payroll and make sure that we pay the right amount and ghost workers do not exist; there is no fraud and that there is no error in the payroll,” the minister said.
“We have removed 53,000 people from the payroll and we are working with PenCom to recover some of the pensions because the problem with these ghost salary earners is that not only are we paying their salaries, we are also paying pensions.
“So, we are trying to recover some of the overpaid pensions from some of the people we have removed from the payroll.”
Mrs. Adesoun also disclosed that the wage bill of the government was pegged at about N165 billion monthly before the commencement of the continuous audit initiative.
But the government was spending N16 billion each on pensions and overhead cost monthly while N200 billion was being used monthly on recurrent expenditures.
The minister, also said that government will register more agencies and individuals on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System platform, IPPIS, which would help to reduce government’s wage bill.
“The moment we finish with the police, we will move on to the military and then the prisons and immigration and other agencies like that.”
“It’s a continuous battle and the real thing is that we are using technology to make sure we are paying people using the biometric system, which ensures that you cannot get two salaries and ensures that the number of personnel is the same as the number on the payroll,” she added.