Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday revealed that the Bank Verification Number (BVN), and Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System had helped the Federal Government discover 23,000 ghost workers in the civil service.
Mrs. Adeosun made the revelation when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance to defend her ministry’s budget yesterday.
She lamented that having ghost workers in the civil service had caused grave leakage to Nigeria’s revenue.
Mrs. Adeosun also explained how the use of the BVN assisted the IPPIS to detect the fraud perpetrated through the creation of ghost workers.
She said, “As we speak now, we have about 23,000 that we need to investigate. Those whom either the BVN is linked to multiple payment or the name on the BVN account is not consistent with the name on our own payroll.
“If we are able to get everybody onto the BVN platform, we will be able to save a considerable amount of personnel cost.
She added that economic crimes investigative agencies would prosecute the banks, firms and individuals working in cahoot to defraud the Federal Government by padding it payroll.
“My job is to get them off our payroll, what happens from there on goes to the investigative agencies; we will pass our files onto them and they will take a decision as to what sanctions they will take.
“Not only will we remove those people from our payroll, but we will also be going after the banks involved to collect our money.”
The chairman of the committee, John Enoh, commended the ministry for the discovery.
Mr. Enoh added that government should not only recover monies from those found guilty of the fraud but also hand them over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.