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HomeNewsShocking Payroll Fraud in Anambra State: Dead, Retired, and Overseas Individuals Still...

Shocking Payroll Fraud in Anambra State: Dead, Retired, and Overseas Individuals Still Receiving Salaries

An investigation conducted by the Anambra State Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), revealed that 59 deceased individuals, 40 retired staff members, and several individuals living abroad are still listed on the state’s payroll, drawing salaries illegally.

 

Vincent Ezeaka, Chairman of the LGSC, disclosed this alarming discovery during a press briefing in Awka. According to Ezeaka, the commission’s audit also uncovered 44 employees with fraudulent credentials, including fake OND, HND, BSc, NECO, and First School Leaving Certificates. Additionally, 427 individuals were found to be on the local government payroll despite not being actual staff members.

 

The ongoing verification process, spearheaded by a retired permanent secretary, aims to sanitize the system. The audit revealed that out of the 427 ghost workers, 59 were deceased, 40 had retired, and 11 were residing abroad. This extensive fraud has persisted for years, siphoning off significant state resources.

 

Ezeaka noted that before initiating the verification exercise, the commission reached out to all 21 local government areas, urging those with dubious credentials to voluntarily resign in exchange for amnesty. However, the majority failed to comply, prompting the commission to take stringent actions. Some Deputy Directors and local government Treasurers have already been dismissed for possessing fake certificates.

 

The investigation has revealed that out of 320 verified employees, only 110 have proven their legitimacy since February 2024, resulting in the restoration of their pay. Meanwhile, 220 employees have yet to come forward. The verification committee has also identified a certificate racketeering cartel within the local government system. Investigations into certificates issued by institutions, such as Imo State University, have uncovered multiple cases of fraud.

 

The LGSC, under Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s mandate, is determined to eliminate ghost workers and fraudulent practices from the local government system. Ezeaka emphasized that the exercise aims to ensure genuine workers receive their due compensation and contribute to Anambra State’s development. Those caught in fraudulent activities will face legal consequences as per civil service rules.

 

Ezeaka issued a final warning to those using forged certificates, offering a grace period to voluntarily come forward or face dismissal once the amnesty period expires. The commission’s goal is not to reduce the wage bill but to ensure that only genuine employees are compensated for their work.

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