Delta Government has announced the immediate suspension of e-payment of workers’ salaries with effect from January 2013, as part of measures to check the problem of ghost workers in the state public service.
According to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who disclosed this during an interactive session journalists on Thursday, January 31, 2013 in Asaba, workers in the state would now be paid their salaries by hand for physical assessment.
He explained that the state had to adopt the measure, because other strategies used in checking corruption in the salary payment system, especially the ghost worker syndrome, had failed.
He said that in spite of more than 7,000 ghost workers discovered in the state through bio-metric staff audit introduced by Access Bank in 2012, the wage bill had continued to rise, and thereby creating doubts on the credibility of the bio-metric system.
“It is obvious that there are still many ghost workers in the state, especially among teachers. From this January, salaries are going to be paid on the basis of physical presence of a worker. We will pay cash and it will be so for the first three months in the first instance.”
He therefore promised to re-introduce a state controlled bio-metric staff auditing device shortly after the on-going cash payment verification exercise.
Uduaghan, who complained that the high wage bill was affecting budget performance in the state with regard to projects execution said, “The problem is also accounting for budget deficit being recorded annually by the state government.”
He explained that salary increase for workers, professional bodies and unions by the Federal Government, which state governments are forced to implement often infringes on budgetary allocations, adding that the Delta state government has introduced modalities that would instil discipline in budgeting and implementation to achieve results.