Nigeria removes 50,000 ghost workers from payroll, saves N200 billion in 2016 – Presidency

FILE PHOTO: Federal secretariat
FILE PHOTO: Federal secretariat

The Federal Government payroll has been rid of 50,000 ghost workers, saving the country a huge amount of N200 billion, an official has said.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the amount is from N13 billion that has been taken off the payroll monthly from February to December this year.

Speaking with State House correspondents at an interactive meeting to mark the end the year, the Mr. Shehu announced that 11 persons championing the syndicate of ghost workers have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instil good governance is on course. Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.

“When the Committee was constituted in February 2016, federal government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions. Now the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions. Which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date,” he said.

The presidential spokesman added that the “the pension bill was 15.5bn monthly as at February. Now it is down to N14.4 billion, which means average monthly saving is made of about N1.1 billion.”

He explained that the total number of ghost workers so far removed from the payroll is about 50,000 and that 11 persons championing the syndicate of the ghost workers have been referred to EFCC with some of them already undergoing trial.

Speaking on the welfare of the recently released 21 Chibok girls, Mr. Shehu said they are being treated as adoptees of the Federal Government but revealed that there is a lot of local and international interest in the future plans of the girls.

“A black American billionaire, Mr. Robert Smith who is currently sponsoring the education of 24 girls from Chibok, among them the first set of escapees from Boko Haram at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free. The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,” according to the presidential spokesman.

Responding to complaints by some of the parents of the 21 Chibok Girls that they did not have enough room for interaction with their daughters brought home for Christmas by the State Security Services, SSS, the Senior Special Assistant to the President admitted that there were some hitches arising from a lack of understanding of the objective of the trip on the part of some security operatives but that following the receipt of this complaint, a directive has been given from the headquarters for the access by the parents to be eased.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the girls were prevented from seeing their parents or celebrating Christmas with them despite being in Chibok.

“If the situation persists, please let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession,” Mr. Shehu assured.

Addressing an issue of interest to a lot of the members of the governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, concerning appointments into boards, Mr. Shehu assured that the process will be fully back on track at the beginning of the new year.

“You know that the reconstitution began methodically, from sector by sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the new year. The President has given directions on what to do,” according to him.

On the agricultural programs of the administration, Mr. Shehu said that the President’s persistent calls for a return to farming is yielding good results.

“The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output. What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.

“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favourable environment for the diversification of the economy.

“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating – Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their share of the market. Manufacturers who are hooked on import of raw materials are advised to re-strategize and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials,” concluded the spokesman.


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  • Rommel

    So where are the people who have been drawing these salaries?

    • Man_Enough

      The 11 champions will pay for their sins.

      • Screw-em II

        I want to see names attached to the thieving “champions”

        • Man_Enough

          Me too. I think the investigators are keeping it close to their chest in case they want to play ball and settle

  • Man_Enough

    The ghost beneficiaries will now come up to claim that there is no money in this government; just like other rogues who have been prevented from enjoying ill gotten incomes.

  • Ex-peacenik


    PRESIDENT BUHARI IS VACUOUS. I am sorry to say this but he is blank and empty. How can a responsible adult
    come to the public to say 156 billion Naira was being stolen every year before now, and all he’s done is to stop it.
    This is the height of illiteracy in public administration because it’s tantamount to approving thefts until it’s stopped.
    President Buhari is a misfit, along with his ramshackle Ministers, neither of whom knows the meaning of “CRIME”.

    • design

      Are you and Manusa and other critics mad because you have been purged from the payroll..milking the country.?

      • Bene


        Who knows, he may just be one of them. From their anger we shall know them!

        But see O! @Ex-Peacenik has a point. Is President Buhari the thieves can carry go?

        If you say 156 billion Naira was stolen every year, you must catch the thieves too now!

        • Noxtradamus

          No, President Buhari is not saying thieves should carry go. What President Buhari is saying
          is enjoy your loot and steal no more, your sins are forgiven you. It is Christmas season, you remember. So, it is only to be expected that everyone will take a bit of Jesus Christ he likes.

  • Mamusca

    …and how many Nigerians and Biafrans had a Vampire Mohammadu Buhari killed and buried in mass fraves in 2016? Or do you want to make recourse to Amnesty International’s video evidence? Useless presidency. Useless media practitioners. Useless Nigeria.

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      Wow. Thought i was the pissed off one. who took the jam outta your donut? You do have a point that what this means is 50,000 jane and john Doe where on a pay role for eons’. Well they been on it like forever and people in all those while just got on by, well right? in comparison to today. But I gotta hand it to these guys they just clipped a cabal that used Govt employments system to cash in from the system. If true, You gotta give em a thumbs up for that criminal operation dismantling job. Yikkes! how do we weight this now? Economy vs Cabal destruction?

  • Mamusca

    …and how many Boko Haram Terrorists were set free and released in 2016 supposedly to free the Chibok girls who in the first place were never kidnapped?

  • Mamusca

    …and how many Fulani herdsmen terrorists were arrested, detained or prosecuted in 2016? None!

  • Mamusca

    …and how many Boko Haram and Fulani terrorist sponsors from Northern Nigeria and in Govt circles were identified and prosecuted in 2016? Any?

  • Mamusca

    …and by how much did the Naira devalue in 2016? i.e., from compare rate @January 2016 (1 to 295) to rate@December (1 to 461). Liars!

    • Ekwu



      • oyoko

        what are doing with dollar, spend naira pls, and buy more of of our local production. If you are looking for a place to spend your holiday, we have many tourist centre in Nigeria. If you have bought dollar at 490/1 dollar; change your taste and save more. Spare us this crap of buying dollar 490.

  • Wailer


    Is it not a shame that everyone here is treating President Buhari like a paraplegic
    who needs to be carried and told what to do? I think it is a shame. In other countries,
    the sort of public advice being thrown at President Buhari will never arise because
    the president of a country is expected to be the fountain of knowledge and epitome
    of public morality. But President Buhari is none of those things, hence, the basic
    instructions he’s been getting here from members of the public on what to do,
    and, how to do it. The seeming disgrace of Buhari is his just desserts for
    parochial narrow-minded views, because having divided the country into
    Muslims and Christians and almost sought to be the president of Muslims,
    like a prehistoric Mullah with no sense, grace or gumption, he lost support
    of those disfavored as non-Muslims and cannot sensibly expect support.
    Buhari should have known he has no chance of succeeding by picking
    an utter mediocre like Raji Fashola as a cabinet Minister and was told.

    • Ess Esquire


      The Buhari government is too corrupt to be the epitome of knowledge or public morality. The government is stinking of stealing. We are told that the number three man in the Buhari government, Babachir Lawal, who is Secretary to Government, awarded contract of 250 million Naira to himself to cut grass. He does not deny the self-award but says he had quickly written a bogus letter of resignation as Director of the same company he said he formed and owns, because in his ignorance, he does not know that quitting the Board of Directors does not mean the same thing as ceasing to be owner of a company.

  • iskar

    Is it only 11 people? No way!! This was and still being practiced at all levels of government, down to the local government. There is no punishment for crime under Buhari. EFCC will quiz these 11 for three hours and let them go, as usual. Not one Boko Haram prosecuted, instead Buhari granting them money to enable them rehabilitate. Sambisa forest is now cleared of BH, but no sign of Shekau or other Chibok girls. Bornu government hiding them to attract international support and donation. The few released Chibok girls were not allowed to spend Christmas with their parents, so they won’t divulge the big secret that BH and hausa/Fulani government are one. They want to indoctrinate them first to make sure they won’t talk, before they can return to their families.

  • Burning Spear

    while the Fulani relations of Bingo Buhari’s tribesmen and women ati Yoruba’s from the south west are being offered jobs via special arrangements——in abuja—-the Apes in APC have continued to lie to the rest of Nigeria daily that ghost workers are still on the pay roll of Ministries In Abuja———– This is the biggest lie ever to be told by Bingo Buhari—-and his cohorts–Just months ago –they lied to us they have found 55,000 ghost workers—and that billions have been saved from the waste in the government of Jonathan–as a result of the said execise—–One year on we are still saddled with this fake ghost workers rubbish————–we have had -workers undertake various checks with this nonsense for over 30 years—with a view to flush out ghost workers—-according to the government people——-Aware-it was in search of ghost workers that Bingo Buhari fired over one million civil servants to celebrate his one year in office–more than 30 years ago—-only to have him replace them with Fulanis from Mali———–tribalism again abi? Nothing but the truth————give the masses work and food—not lies