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Benue govt saves N1.2bn from ghost workers, uncovers ghost schools

Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue has said the state government has saved N1.2billion from the uncovered 2500 ghost workers on teachers and Local Government Councils staff payrolls.


Alia said this in Makurdi on Friday during the All Progressives Congress (APC) Extraordinary Stakeholders Meeting, reports News Agency of Nigeria.


He said the government saved the amount from the first phase of verification of primary and secondary school teachers as well as Local Government Councils staff payrolls audit.


He said the verification team discovered ghost workers, ghost schools, double dipping, unlawful employment, salary padding, payment to dead or retired individuals and unlawful replacement.


He said that they were now paying N800m against N1.6bn that was paid by the previous administration to the teachers.


Alia said his administration would reform the civil service, adding that the verification showed that staff on Grade Level 9 were heading those on grade levels 14 to 16 in some cases.


The governor also said he met an empty treasury, adding that 90 per cent of government offices including the Government House were in shambles.


“I opened all the books and there was nothing inside financially. I started from ground zero.


“I don’t even have a governor’s car. The assembly members are yet to receive theirs 28 days into office.


“I don’t need to complain because I knew that things were wrong before I applied for the job. If there is crisis in APC the state will suffer. We came to fix the broken system”, he said.


He said there was no problem between him, the leader of the party in Benue State Sen. George Akume and the entire APC family in the State.


Earlier, Mr Austin Agada, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Benue, said the meeting was meant to appreciate the governor for his victory and successful inauguration.


“We believe that the people’s welfare won’t be taken for granted under your watch. APC has no internal crisis in Benue.


“Today I apologize to the entire members of the party that they should forgive us. As Chairman I take full responsibility of whatever happens in the past wrongly or rightly, it will not happen again,” he said


One of the stakeholders, Sen. Jacob Gyado, also said there was no problem between Akume and Alia.


“We worked so hard in the midst of pains to get this victory. We have a leader who God had touched to bring the right candidate and that is what we have today,” he said.


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