The Ebonyi State government has offered amnesty to ghost workers discovered during a verification exercise in the state negotiation opportunities to refund the money they illegally collected as salaries.
The offer which was contained in a statement signed on Saturday by Emmanuel Uzor, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, further said that the amnesty period would last from August 30 to September 10.
“We are giving the amnesty to all ghost workers within the stipulated period to surrender and negotiate the repayment of all illegally collected funds to the state and Local Government Areas (LGA),” the statement said.
It said that those who embraced the offer would not face prosecution but those who declined the amnesty opportunities would face the law and all monies they took from the government would be recovered from them.
“The state government is happy to announce that it has made significant progress as the verification has saved it and the LGA about N60 million for one month.
“This exercise will be regular until all ghost workers or workers who benefit from illegal, multiple payments are flushed, to ensure more employment opportunities for our brothers and sisters.
“We have procured the services of financial institutions with bias in Information Communication Technology (ICT) to deploy Bank Verification Number (BVN) in tracking and prosecuting ghost workers,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the governor has directed the relevant authorities to ensure immediate payment of all workers’ salaries, pension and other entitlements for August.
“They should use the approved verification documents authored by the state Head of Service as all stakeholders in charge of payments should take note and act accordingly,” it said.
The statement attributed the delay in payment of the August salaries by the 15th of the month to the verification aimed at exposing ghost workers especially among teachers and other categories of workers.