THE Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday attributed the country’s high overhead to the presence of ghost workers on the Federal Government’s payroll. She, however, assured that this trend would soon be checked as the biometric initiative undertaken by the Federal Government had begun to yield fruits with the discovery that in the police pension scheme alone, N1 billion was paid to ghost pensioners yearly where as the actual amount required was just N500 million. The sum of N1.5 billion was actually being paid to the Police Pension Board by the Budget Office of the Federation.
These revelations were made yesterday in Abuja by the Finance Minister while shedding more light on the N4.75 trillion 2012 Budget presented on Tuesday by President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly. Accompanied to the briefing by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Lawal Ngama and Heads of the ministry’s agencies, including the Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, Okonjo-Iweala declared that it was shocking that the Federal Government had survived it this far considering the level of graft on the public payroll.