Ministry, Verification Committee Shift Blame Over Ghost Workers In Zamfara

Ministry, Verification Committee Shift Blame Over Ghost Workers In Zamfara

The Zamfara Workers’ Verification Committee has accused officials of the state Ministry of Finance of altering the final copy of the nominal roll submitted to the government as interim report.

Mr Isyaku Sabo, a member of the verification committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Thursday that the ministry tampered with the document.

“When we took the final copy of the staff list to the ministry of finance for print out of July salaries, we were surprised to discover that the print out came with deletion of 947 workers duly verified on our master list and replaced with other names.

“In fact, apart from the altered figure, 23 fresh names were inserted into the master list from nowhere, thereby creating unnecessary confusion in the whole exercise,’’ he said.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Muazu Nalado, described the committee’s claim as “totally false and baseless. ’’

Nalado said that the committee’s electronic copy of the workers list was brought to the ministry by a consultant employed by the committee itself.

“The consultant brought the copy and what we did was just to print it out the way it was brought to us.

“So if any body was omitted or inserted into the final copy, the committee should blame its consultant,’’ he said.

He alleged that the committee was also responsible for the insertion of hundreds of workers whose records of service showed that they were either dead, retired or had resigned.

“The committee had committed a lot of errors and was looking for escape route instead of settling down to entertain genuine complaints from workers, who were not captured by the verification exercise. ’’

NAN recalls that the verification committee discovered about 7,000 `ghost workers’ on the government’s pay roll on the completion of a state-wide workers verification exercise.

The committee submitted its interim report to the governor, who ordered that only the workers verified would collect July salary.

The governor’s directive, however, sparked off controversy between officials of the finance ministry and the committee, following the discovery of the removal 947 verified workers from the nominal roll.

The committee accused the ministry of removing the 947 verified workers from the pay roll and replacing them with `ghost workers’ but the ministry claimed that the committee did not do a thorough job.

The committee also accused the ministry of inserting 23 additional `ghost workers’ on the final roll of 21,067 workers certified as authentic figure of the state workforce. (NAN)


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