By Emanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
Abia state government has entered into partnership with Zenith Bank Plc to eliminate ghost workers in the state.
The state government disclosed recently it discovered over 1,000 ghost workers in its payroll. It also hinted that it has decided to use what it described as “creative tools” to eliminate the ghost workers.
To this end, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu recently inaugurated a steering committee on Abia workforce Identity Verification Payroll (IVP) management system to team up with Zenith Bank in order to curb leakages and fraud usually associated with ghost worker syndrome.
He said that by taking this critical step, the state would be in a better stead to expand its economy and boost internally generated revenue (IGR) by diversifying sources of revenue.
Ikpeazu explained that the IVP was just one among the number of creative tools being employed by his administration to revamp the economy of the state in view of the volatility of the nation’s oil-based economy.
He said that the dividends from the management of the payroll system would enable government to save money that are being lost through ghost worker syndrome and in turn make it possible for government to increase the incentives of the Abia workforce.
The governor expressed worry that huge amount of money was being expended on wage bill of state workers who constitute only 10 percent of the entire Abia population hence the decision to block the loopholes that make it possible for thieves to siphon the resources meant for the entire population.
Zenith Bank Regional Head, Imo and Abia states, George Okenwa, who led the development partners, concurred that the era where bunch of thieves earning multiple salaries in the name of ghost workers has finally come to an end.
According to him, the implementation of automated salary payment would ensure that every Abia worker is provided with an identifiable pin code to access their salaries thereby sanitise the data base of the state civil service.