Abia moves to check financial leakages, ghost workers

Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu

The Abia State government has raised a steering committee to automate the state’s workforce identity verification payroll management system.The steering committee, which is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emelike Okoro, is to work with Zenith Bank and other development partners to electronically plug all leakages usually associated with fraud infested workers pay-rolling system and ghost-worker syndrome.

While inaugurating the committee in Umuahia with Zenith Bank represented by its Regional Head for Abia and Imo States, George Okenwa, Governor Ikpeazu charged the partnership to identify the state genuine workers and ensure that they are paid salaries in good time using appropriate electronically automated technology.

He said that the measure was informed by the imperative need to expand the state’s economy and diversify its sources of revenue by blocking every frivolous expenditure that are not in the interest of the state and its people.

He added that it is also among the many creative steps that would strategically impact on the economy of the state in the midst of its dwindling resources.

He expressed optimism that “the management of the payroll system would enable government to save money that are being lost through ghost workers syndrome and at the same time help the government to improve its incentives to the Abia workforce.”

The governor, who expressed worries over the huge amount of money spent as wage bill of workers that constitute only 10 per cent of the entire state population, described introduction of the measure now as very apt, adding that Zenith Bank has the capacity and what it takes to achieve the government target.

He said: “It will checkmate the lapses and inconsistencies in the faulty workers’ pay-rolling system through which government loses large sums of money through disguised fraudsters and thieves”.

The Zenith Bank representative, who commended the governor for constituting the Steering Committee, assured that under his banks partnership with the government, the era some people earning multiple salaries in the name of ghost workers will soon come to an end.

He explained that the implementation of automated salary payment is a measure that would ensure that every Abia worker has an identifiable pin code to access his or her salaries.

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