Nigeria cuts £8m from state's payroll after non-existent workers removed


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Nigeria has removed more than 20,000 non-existent workers from the government payroll following an audit, leading to savings of 2.29bn naira (£8.3m) from its monthly wage bill, the finance ministry has said.

Corruption and mismanagement have long stunted development in Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer, and are now exacerbating the impact of a sharp fall in global crude prices.

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

This showed the names of some civil servants receiving a salary did not correspond to the names linked to the bank accounts. In some cases individuals were also receiving salaries from multiple sources.

“The federal government has removed 23,846 non-existent workers from its payroll,” said Festus Akanbi, special adviser to finance minister Kemi Adeosun who took office in November and soon after set up an efficiency unit to cut waste.

“Consequently the salary bill for February 2016 has reduced by 2.293bn naira when compared to December 2015 when the BVN audit process commenced,” said Akanbi, adding that those removed had been paid by ministries, departments and agencies.

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