The Kaduna State Government has uncovered a racket that siphons N1.3 billion annually through dubious pension payments during the verification of pensioners carried out by the state government.
According to the report of the verification exercise which was presented to the state executive council, 2,484 ghost pensioners were discovered during the exercise.
In a statement on Tuesday, spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the 2,484 ghost pensioners were identified and removed from the pension payroll.
“Another set of 1,404 were classified as probable ghost pensioners because while they managed to get verified, they curiously failed to pick their pension cheques,” Aruwan said.
“In July 2015, the total pension payroll from the state and local governments stood at 18,265. It cost the state government N543, 771,967.43 monthly to pay the pensioners.
“But at the end of the biometric verification exercise, only 15,781 pensioners were verified on the payroll. As many as 2,484 supposed pensioners did not show up at all. Of 15,781 pensioners that were verified, 1,404 pensioners did not collect their cheques, and they are being treated as probable ghosts,” Aruwan said.
He stated that the Kaduna State Executive Council has ordered further investigations into the identities of the syndicate behind the pension scam.