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Audit Shock: Civil Servants Kept Drawing Salaries Despite Moving Abroad – Yemi-Esan

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Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), has revealed that a recent physical verification exercise uncovered instances of civil servants residing abroad while still drawing salaries from Nigeria.

Speaking during a media engagement in Abuja as part of the 2024 Civil Service Week activities, Yemi-Esan disclosed that the exercise was aimed to curb corruption and streamline operations within the civil service.

“The verification exercise exposed several cases where civil servants were found to be living abroad but receiving salaries. Many of these individuals opted to resign rather than face the consequences of their actions,” she stated.

Highlighting the seriousness of the issue, Dr. Yemi-Esan emphasized that such practices undermine the integrity of the civil service and waste government resources meant for genuine employees.

She detailed the process involved in the verification, noting that ministries and agencies were instructed to conduct physical headcounts of all personnel on their nominal rolls. Non-compliance with the exercise resulted in immediate scrutiny and potential suspension of salary payments.

“The response to the exercise revealed a disproportionate number of ghost workers in parastatals compared to core ministries. Some individuals even attempted to return from abroad after the exercise had concluded, which raised suspicions,” Dr. Yemi-Esan explained.

Addressing the media, she expressed disappointment at the disregard for official protocols, where civil servants had been absent from their posts without authorization for extended periods yet continued to receive salaries.

Dr. Yemi-Esan concluded by commending the media for their role in supporting reforms within the civil service and reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability across all government agencies.

The revelations from the verification exercise underscore ongoing efforts by the Nigerian government to sanitize the civil service and optimize resources for national development.

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