Biometrics for better government finances

Nigeria saves $11 million after removing 20,000 ‘ghost workers’ (Hindustan Times)

Nigeria’s government has removed more than 20,000 non-existent workers from its payroll following an audit, leading to savings of 2.29 billion naira ($11.53 million) from its monthly wage bill, the Finance Ministry said on Sunday.

The audit used biometric data and a bank verification number (BVN) to identify holders of bank accounts into which salaries were being paid.

Pakistan: Ghost workers in Sindh

Over 25,000 ‘ghost’ teachers identified in Sindh Education department (Geo.TV)

Sources said that, during investigation carried out by AG Sindh office and Education Department, about 25,000 out of 155,000 recorded employees have been identified as ‘fake’ in the Sindh Education and Literacy Department.

They added that ghost employees were identified by the Deputy Accountant General Education, security and examination committee with the support of biometric system.

We haven’t posted on ghost workers lately, but a 16% fake employee rate is noteworthy.

Nigeria: The ghost worker numbers in this piece are shocking

Boyo: Ghost workers and indulgent exorcists (The Guardian – Nigeria)

♦ A 2010 staff audit of the Nigeria Police Force revealed over 100,000 ghost police officers out of 330,000 officially registered policemen.

♦ In 2011, the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board reported losses of N2.4 billion (approx $26 million) annually to 1,477 ghost workers

♦ In the same month, after conducting a biometric audit, The National Identity Management Commission uncovered 4,000 ghost workers out of about 10,300 employees on its payroll.

♦ The Ekiti State government loses over N3 billion annually to ghost workers out of a projected annual budget of N80 billion.

There are many more examples at the link.

Ghostbusting: Communication is key

SIERRA LEONE: Total Misinformation About Rumoured Deletion Of 7, 000 Teachers From Pay Vouchers (Cocorioko)

The Minister of Education, Dr. Minkailu Bah, was the first to challenge those figures, stating that they were too alarming and therefore subject to further verification by his ministry. The Minister therefore suggested that a Task Force, comprising the staff of the firm that carried out the registration; his ministry’s staff and representative from the Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU) should conduct a follow up re-verification exercise that should last for 90 days. He asked that Heads of Schools and Proprietors be sufficiently notified so that they too could notify all Teachers on their lists.

During this second phase of verification, Teachers who refuse or do not make themselves available to be properly verified would eventually be deleted from the government pay vouchers, the Minister cautioned.

The SLTU Representative was given a soft copy of this report. Somehow, these representatives from the SLTU decided to send a message to all Teachers around the country, particularly those whose names are on the list for re-verification (7,761), notifying them that they have been maintained as “Ghost Teachers” and therefore their names are going to be deleted from the government pay voucher.

Misinformation shenanigans can’t be ruled out but when people’s jobs are on the line, emotions can run hot. Good communication about the process can help a lot.

Biometrics and ghost workers in Nigeria

Abia’s scourge of ghost workers (The Nation)

When Abia state governor Chief Theodore Orji introduced reforms in the civil service of the state which include promotion of workers due for promotion, approval of N21,000 as minimum wage, retiring those due, transferring of service of non-indigenes to their states of origin after due consultation with their home state, and insistence on biometric data capturing of all workers and pensioners in the state civil service, some cynics who believed in business as usual criticised the reforms severely.

Read the whole thing.

Nigeria: One state losing $400,000 per month to ghost workers

Nigeria: Ekiti Loses N63 Million to Ghost Workers Monthly (All Africa)

[… T]he first physical verification exercise showed that there are 19,258 personnel in the 16 local government areas, while subsequent biometric data capture revealed that there are 19,212 staff.

He said a further check showed that there are 17,889 staff on the nominal roll while 1,323 staff collecting about N63 million on a monthly basis are not on the nominal roll.

Adewumi stated further that for efficiency at the third tier of government, the state government has decided to redeploy 1,756 workers who have National Certificate of Education (NCE) and other education-related qualifications to the State Universal Basic Education Board and the Teaching Service Commission.

This, the commissioner said would relieve the councils of a monthly financial implication of N53 million.

Biometrics bust 9,000 more ghosts in Nigeria

Katsina discovers 9,000 ghost workers (Vanguard)

ABUJA—GOVERNOR Ibrahim Shema of Kastina State has said his government discovered 9,000 ghost workers on the payroll of the state.

Shema, who addressed stakeholders in Abuja, promised that his administration will do everything possible to stamp out the ghost workers syndrome in the state.

He explained that before the implementation of the payment of N18,000 minimum wage, his administration embarked on the biometric capturing of the civil servants in the state.

I’d guess that Nigeria has been the country most aggressively applying biometrics to reduce fraud in government payrolls.

How noisy are ghosts?

Ghana: Biometric Payroll Underway (GhanaWeb)

“We, however, wish to assure genuine public servants who may not have taken part in the biometric registration exercise, and therefore have not received their salaries for July, that payment will be duly made to them.”

The release said “such public servants are therefore encouraged to quickly go to the nearest Regional Office of the Controller & Accountant General’s Department or to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Annex (FIC Building), Accra where they will be immediately registered and their payment quickly processed.”

It’ll be interesting to compare the volume of complaints to the length of the lines at enrollment stations.