FG removes 50,000 ghost workers from payroll, saves N200 billion – Presidency

Chidi Samuel

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has removed 50,000 ghost workers from the government payroll and in the process saved N200 billion for the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the disclosure  at an end of year interactive session with state house correspondents at the state  house, Abuja.

According to Shehu, “The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instil good governance is on course. Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.

“When the Committee was constituted in February 2016, federal government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions. Now the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions. Which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date,” he said.

He further stated that the “the pension bill was 15.5bn monthly as at February. Now it is down to N14.4 billion, which means average monthly saving is made of about N1.1 billion.”

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Speaking on the the agricultural programs of the administration, Mr. Shehu said that the President’s persistent calls for a return to farming is yielding good results.

“The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output. What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.

“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favourable environment for the diversification of the economy.

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“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating – Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their share of the market. Manufacturers who are hooked on import of raw materials are advised to re-strategize and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials,” Shehu concluded.