The Nigerian government said on Sunday that about 23,846 ghost workers were being removed monthly from its payroll.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said consequently about N2.293 billion was reduced from the total salary bill for the ministries, departments and agencies MDAs for February 2016 when compared to December 2015 when the BVN audit process commenced.
The minister said the ghost workers were uncovered in payrolls of various MDAs during the ongoing bank verification number (BVN)-based staff audit and enrolment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The BVN is a unique number that identifies each bank’s customer for “Know Your Customer” (KYC) purposes.
The use of BVNs, rather than physical appearance of workers for biometric capture at the initial stage of verification, has significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the payroll audit process and reduced the cost of implementation.
The BVN platform to audit and sanitise the salary payment system, ministry of finance sources said, has so far checked the details of about 312,000 civil servants currently enrolled on IPPIS, a development that has led to the discovery of a high level of irregularities in salary payment.
During the audit, names of some civil servants whose salaries were being processed were found to be inconsistent with those linked to the bank accounts into which salaries were paid.