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Monday, September 26, 2016

Ghost worker syndrome in Nigeria

Written by: Sunday Onyemaechi Eze

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The ghost workers syndrome in Nigeria predates the second republic. Every government has desired to resolve this cankerworm ravaging the public service without success. Several committees were set up in the past to end the ugly trend but the more reports were turned in, the greater the increase.

It is increasingly becoming evident that it takes more than wishful thinking or mere policy statements from the government to eliminate this menace. There have been uncountable physical verification exercises of staff of ministries and agencies in the Federal, State and Local Governments in the past with minimal or no results.

Who is a ghost worker?
He or She is a non – existing employee who earns an undeserved monthly wage and enjoys the unequaled incentives of services not rendered. His or her absence from duty and unknown schedule benefits him/her, and the unscrupulous officer or group who employs him to corruptly line his/their pocket(s).

The public service has tacitly encouraged this unwholesome and unacceptable trend as if nothing is wrong to the detriment of our nation. The system has pretended to be waging a war against disorder while the solution knocks at the door step of the same system.

The beneficiaries of the sweet fruits of this system are the worms inside the fruit itself, which ruins it. Government should not claim ignorance of the source of our clear predicament. The person who is said to be behind the predicament of an individual is that man very close to him.

An ordinary Nigerian who knows the source of this mess, can pin-point it and offer useful suggestions on how to end it. Why does it seem the government is at loss as to the step to take? Those who sustain the evil are the same people that sit at the committee levels of destroying the condition.

It is a syndicated brand where the booty fuels the cars of beneficiaries, pay the school fees of children, satisfies the pleasures of and lavish lifestyles of those who should burst it.  Before the introduction of e-payment policy by government, state and local government secretariats were always a beehive of activities as supposed staff throng in, in anticipation of payment of salaries only for human traffic to dry up thereafter.

It is desperate cult of money and power seekers who initiate subordinates strategically positioned and designated to take this baton of corruption to the next stage in sustenance of depraved legacy as the old ones bow out of service. The tree of ghost worker syndrome was planted long ago and it will take the guts of a bulldozer to pull it down.

Government must take drastic action aimed at rooting out those involved in perpetrating the evils of ghost workers syndrome wherever they are in Nigeria. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance is at the vanguard of putting an end to it.
FG Probes 11,000 Ghost Workers
– Minister Of Finance, Kemi Adeosun
It was reported that the continuous Audit Team has saved about N50 billion and over 43,000 ghost workers were identified nationwide and removed from federal government payroll system. She also promised prosecution of those involved in the scam.

One of the lasting solutions to the inability of states to pay salaries rests in eliminating ghost workers syndrome. The governors should, as a matter of urgency, borrow a leaf from the federal government to stem the tide.

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