The Oyo State government has temporarily struck out the names of 16, 532 workers and pensioners from its payroll following their alleged involvement in collection of multiple salaries, elongation of retirement age and other infractions.
Those affected were drawn from a total 100,259 workers and pensioners screened from the ministries, departments and parastatals, as well as the teaching service, local government, Broadcasting Service of Oyo State, judiciary, Water Corporation and tertiary institutions.
The Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, disclosed this at a press conference held at the Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan which had in attendance the state’s Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade; Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka; and Senior Special Assistant, Print and Broadcast Media, Mr Akin Oyedele.
The SSG said that the decision was reached after a forensic verification exercise conducted by the renowned Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc revealed the likely existence of ghost workers within the system.
Alli said that the exercise was part of ongoing efforts by the state to clean up its payroll of fake workers and pensioners fleecing the state of its commonwealth.
He, however, clarified that the affected 16,532 people would have opportunity to clear their names when they appear before a four-member panel constituted by the government to authenticate findings by the NIBSS.
To erase doubts and allay fears of witch-hunting, he said that the panel would comprise representatives of the government, the consultants and the workers’ union, while the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, would serve as secretary.
After the forensic computerized data audit, he said that the consultants from NIBSS Plc found many instances of inconsistencies, variations and entry details that did not tally involving 16, 532 employees, out of a total 100,250 workforce analyzed.
The SSG listed revelations from the audit exercise to include multiple salary payments into single account, multiple salary payment to single name, employees that have passed retirement age, invalid BVN, invalid bank accounts and name details and employees with mismatched names.
He promised that findings by the proposed panel would be made public, stressing that any of the affected people found to have been wrongly categorized as ghost worker would be reinstated.