THE federal government said on Sunday, February 28, that the removal of 23,846 non-existing workers from its payroll had led to a monthly reduction of N2.29bn in its salary bill.
This, it stated, was made possible through the ongoing Bank Verification Number-based staff audit and enrolment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, which effectively reduced the amount spent as payment of salaries to government workers by N2.29bn in February when compared to what it was in December 2015.
Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, who disclosed the development in a statement by Festus Akanbi, her special adviser on media, said the ministry was working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to recover the outstanding balance in banks and pensions contributed in respect of the deleted workers.
The statement said: “The Federal Government, in its efforts to reduce personnel cost, is determined to continue the verification programme on a regular periodic basis.”
Against the backdrop that personnel costs represent over 40 percent of total government expenditure, the ministry said the federal government would continue to strengthen its payroll controls.
It said it planned to undertake periodic checks and to utilise Computer Assisted Audit Techniques under its new Continuous Audit Programme.
“This will ensure that all payments are accurate and valid,” it said.
Adeosun also stated that the requirements for new entrants into the federal civil service had also been enhanced to prevent the introduction of fictitious employees in future.
She said the exercise, which was part of the cost-saving and anti-corruption agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, was key to funding the deficit in the 2016 budget, as savings made would ultimately reduce the amount to be borrowed.
— Feb 29, 2016 @ 11:20 GMT