Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Ghost workers: who gave “ghosts” the jobs for the living?

I would continue to ask and probably until I receive an answer-an answer that is perharps, not a ghost. Who gave ghosts the jobs of the living? If you do not understand my question, I repeat, in clear unequivocal terms; who gave ghosts their employment letters? Who signed their employment letters? Who do the ghosts work under in their departments, ministries and parastatals? Who are these ghosts sef?

Although I am not a magician, one thing that I know about ghosts is that mortals disappear at the sight or sound of them. However, in the case of Nigeria’s Civil Service, we are faced with a bizarre situation where ghosts work comfortably in the same offices and earn same salaries with mere mortals who should not be close to them. I think that something is wrong, absolutely wrong here; it’s either that the ghosts are humans or that that the humans are ghosts in disguise.

Again, who gave out the employment letters to ghosts, are they ghosts themselves or mere mortals like you and I? Now, who discovered that 45, 000 ghost workers are in the payroll of the Nigeria’s Federal Civil Service? Is he/she a ghost too or a human species like us? Which instrument did he/she used; a microscope or “African magic”? If you want to laugh, laugh loud because Nigeria is a place of absurdities. It is not out of place to call Nigerians comedians and Nigeria a theatre. Truly, it sad but true and one wonders, who is deceiving who-the ghosts or the humans?

If ghosts can work even when they are not in office and earn monthly salary even without signing attendance register, then I would like to be a ghost. If ghosts can be in the spirit world and earn promotion and even retirement benefits, then I would love to be a ghost-I love the Nigeria Civil Service! Sure, this drama cannot be staged in the private sector, where you truly work for your monthly salary.

Why should humans pay the ghosts with the resources from humans? Isn’t that unfair and sheer wickedness? The ideal thing should be: let the ghosts pay the ghosts, while the humans pay the humans! Do you agree with me?

Now, who are those humans who take what belongs to humans and give it to ghosts? Are they just humans or super-humans or are they as well spirits? If they are humans, then humans should hold them accountable for short-changing them.

From media reports, those who discovered the 45, 000 ghost workers claim that they saved 100 billion naira for the government. I hope that such money will not also turn to ghost soon…or disappear into the spirit world where ghost operates.

Think about this; 45, 000 ghosts occupy 45, 000 vacant positions. This simply means that vacancies exist in the Federal Civil Service contrary to wide reports that there is job-freeze.

There would be less crime if these positions are legitimately filled with humans who are jobless. However, those who are super-humans in their wisdom prefer to give them to ghosts. It would be nice to give these jobs to humans because they actually own the money being given to ghosts. This will reduce the anguish and pain of unemployment in the land. Ghost-worker syndrome is job-denial for qualified youths.

Official figures put ghost workers at 45, 000 but you and I know that the undiscovered or unofficial figures are higher. The number of ghost workers keeps rising with corresponding increase in unemployment rate among humans. This is a recurring trend in the Civil Service. In Plateau, a ghost Commissioner was discovered. Very soon, a ghost Governor will be discovered and the music keeps playing. Please check if your wife or children are ghosts?

Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor (now Emir of Kano) Mallam Sanusi Lamido on December 2, 2012 lamented the high cost of servicing the nation’s Civil Service and called on the Federal Government to sack at least 50 per cent of its entire workforce (excluding ghost workers). Sanusi, in his presentation at the Second Annual Capital Market Committee Retreat in Warri, Delta State, lamented that the country spends 70 per cent of its earnings on salaries and entitlements of Civil Servants. He argued that having the Federal Government’s staff strength reduced by half would free up capital for infrastructure development in the country and buoy the economy. “At the moment 70 per cent of Federal Government’s revenue goes for payment of salaries and entitlement of civil servants leaving 30 per cent for development of 167 million Nigerians. That means that for every naira government earns, 70 kobo is consumed by Civil Servants”.

Any society where government spends 70 per cent of its revenue on its civil service has a problem. It is unsustainable. “How can we be using the proceeds from our major source of revenue to service recurrent expenditure, by paying salaries, allowances, among others? The country should be thinking of enhancing its productivity base rather than spending on things that cannot create wealth.”

It might be that Sanusi was indirectly talking about ghost workers? Your guess is as good as mine.

If we ask further; who approves the pay meant for humans for ghosts? Does the Head of Civil Service of the Federation have a responsibility to vet and approve who is eligible or entitled to be paid monthly on behalf of humans?  Is there any provision in the Civil Service rule which makes it an offence to pay a ghost worker? Is there any provision which prescribes punishment for perpetrators? Who is saddled with these responsibilities? How many prosecution and convictions have been recorded? Does these crimes and breach of procedures falls under the scope of ICPC?

Has any ghost worker been apprehended or prosecuted? Sorry I forgot that they are ghosts for no human can see let alone touch them. It seems to me that they are invincible, perharps in the conventional method…ha ha!

If we checked well, they might not be ghosts after all, they could be are our friends and family members when they are unmasked. They are “Nigerian ghosts” and quite different from the ghost you find in the dictionary definition! They can only be found in the Civil Service. They can be found year-in, year-out, they are paid by humans because they work with humans in mysterious ways!

If these ghost-workers syndrome persists, it might get to a stage where the ghosts of those humans who were denied jobs will hunt down those who do the denials as well as the ghost workers themselves. I have to stop here before the ghost (who operates in the dark, as I was told when I was a kid) begins to come after me!!!

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