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The Federal Civil Service Commission is currently battling with an unprecedented increase in the number of ghost workers on its pay roll.

Some Assistant Directors and their collaborators in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been linked to employment racketeering in the federal civil service, The Nation reported.

They are to be prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other-Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Last week, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dansuki Arabi, disclosed that no less than 70, 000 workers with questionable employment papers were detected and weeded out of the service.

They were said to have been discovered through the ongoing Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Sources in the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) said that the ongoing IPPIS verification will reveal more of such workers.

“There is a lot of rot in the Federal Civil Service, especially at the top levels. Before now, the MDAs had the autonomy to recruit. Sadly, some abused this process. Some assistant directors forge and issue fake employment letters to desperate job seekers,” the source said.

“The number of fake employment letters is overwhelming with some MDAs being over staffed. For some time now, we have not posted anyone to the Ministry of Environment. But they keep calling us that the number of workers posted to their ministry is overwhelming.

“After investigating, we could not verify most employment and postings. Some people in the service are experts in forging signatures of directors and issuing fake employment and promotion letters.

“I can imagine how much they realise monthly from ghost workers. They exploit the desperation of some Nigerians in search of job. The money they make from ghost workers, issuing fake employment and promotion letters is simply unimaginable.”

The source expressed optimism that fake employment and ghost workers would be reduced through the ongoing civil service reform.

The Federal Civil Service Commission, according to him, has the sole mandate to recruit for all government MDAs.

“It is in view of this corruption that the IPPIS verification exercise was introduced. The exercise is very thorough, and everyone must go through it. It will get to the length and breadth of this country. Even those working outside the shores of this country, are going through it,” he said.

“We have already discovered many whose employment cannot be verified. I am sure that more than 70,000 ghost workers will be uncovered before the end of this exercise.

“We have already sent some names to ICPC for further questioning and prosecution. Very soon we are going to publish the names of those involved to serve as a deterrent to others.”

Arabi had said that the Federal Government saved N220 billion removing the 70,000 ghost workers from the payroll of MDAs.

He added that the IPPIS   made it possible to know that the current number of federal civil servants is 720, 000.

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