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The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has approved the suspension of three directors and five other officials from the state ministry of finance over alleged appointment racketeering.

The state’s commissioner for finance, Rabiu Garba, told PREMIUM TIMES late Sunday that after preliminary investigation, the state had uncovered 4,972 ghost workers receiving a salary amounting to N216 million allegedly being aided by the indicted officials.

The official said “we found that one person is receiving three times salary of a medical doctor.”

Mr Garba said the officials involved are, Director, Finance Hospital Management Board; Director Salary, State Ministry of Finance; and his deputy including five other officials in the ministry.

The commissioner said the governor had approved the suspension of the officials and ordered investigation.

He said anyone found wanting would be handed over to anti corruption agencies for possible prosecution.

“This is a serious crime at Zamfara civil service affecting the implementation of new minimum wage. There are some workers that are receiving only N7000 because the wage bill almost tallies with monthly allocation and the internally generated revenue (IGR) is declining,” Mr Garba said.

“In the next two weeks the public would know the outcome of the investigation, we would name all the officials involved and the banks that are aiding them in committing the fraud. We would submit the banks’ names to the Central Bank of Nigeria for further disciplinary action,” the official said.

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