The Abia State Government says it has so far removed a total of 6,064 irregular names from state and local government pension payroll.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko, disclosed this during a radio programme in the state on Thursday, stating that all amounted to a total sum of N354m monthly.
The commissioner stated, “For the state pension payroll, we so far removed 1,840 irregular names from the list, amounting to about N184m monthly, while for the local government pension payroll, we have so far removed 4,224 irregular names, amounting to about N170m monthly.”
Uko said there were serious irregularities in the payment of pensions in the state, pointing out that such irregularities were caused by the workers themselves through irregular names attached to the pension payment schedules.
The governor, he said, had, therefore, directed that the pension lists be updated so as not to leave out any pensioner and to ensure all pensioners are paid after one month.
He also disclosed that in the area of LGA salaries, discrepancies existed between the Auditor-General, ASUBEB and the LGA commission in terms of number of staff, amounting to millions of naira.
The current administration in the state, he said, was going for accountability, transparency and physical responsibility and would be able to resolve the discrepancies with pensions before February ending.
He warned those who took government finances as their farmland that “it cannot continue like that”.
On the prosecution of ghost workers in the service, the commissioner said the government was only interested in ensuring that genuine civil servants did not suffer, adding, “it is not the intention of the governor to start pursuing anybody.”