FG saves N200bn from 50,000 ghost workers


Garba Shehu.

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The Presidency said the Federal Government’s payroll has been rid of 50,000 ghost workers, saving the nation of N200 billion.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu made this known in a statement yesterday.

He said N13billion had been taken off the payroll monthly from February to December this year.

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He said 11 persons championing the syndicate of ghost workers had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with some of them already facing trial.

Shehu said: “The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instil good governance is on course.

“Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.

“When the committee was constituted in February 2016, the Federal Government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions.

“Now, the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions, which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date.

“The pension bill was 15.5bn monthly as at February. Now, it is down to N14.4 billion, which means average monthly saving is made of about N1.1 billion.”

…Says Buhari will make full board appointments January

The Presidency has assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will make appointments into all boards by January 2017.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu gave the assurance in a statement Tuesday.

Shehu, who admitted that the delay in appointment of boards had been an issue of interest to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said “the process will be fully back on track at the beginning of the New Year.

He said “You know that the reconstitution began methodically from sector by sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the New Year. The president has given directions on what to do.”

Shehu also stated that Buhari’s persistent call for a return to farming was yielding good results saying “The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output.

“What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.

“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost to local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favourable environment for the diversification of the economy.

“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating- Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking at what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their shares of the market.

“Manufacturers, who are hooked on import of raw materials, are advised to re-strategise and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials,” he said.

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