GHOST worker syndrome in Nigeria predates the second republic. Every government has desired to resolve this caterpillar and cankerworm ravaging the public service without success. Several committees were set up in the pastto end the ugly trend but the more reports were turned in the greater the increase. It is increasingly becoming evident that it takes more than wishful thinking or mere policy statements from government to eliminate this menace. There have been uncountable physical verification exercises of staff of ministries and agencies in the Federal, States and Local governments in the past with minimal or no results. The system has pretended to be waging a war against a disorder while the solution knocks at the door step of the same system. How does one juxtapose an unwholesome situation and a syndrome created by a system to be resolved by that same system? The beneficiaries of the “sweet fruits” of thissystem are the worms inside the fruit itself which ruins it. Government should not claim ignorant of the source of our clear predicament. The person who is said to be behind the predicament of an individual is that man very close to him. An ordinary Nigerian knows the right source of this mess, can pin-point it and offer useful suggestions to ending it, why does it seem the government is at loss as to the step to take. Those who sustain the evil are same sitting at the committee levels of destroying the condition. It is a syndicated brandwhere the booty fuels the cars of beneficiaries, pay the school fees of children, satisfies the pleasure ofand the lavished life styles of those who should burst it. The syndicates are known Governors, Ministers, Directors,Commissioners, Heads of agencies and parastatals,Local government Chairmen who constitute the cabal in the public service. Others are powerful politicians and godfathers who make things happen in states throughout the nation. It is not surprising that more than twenty-seven states cannot pay salaries. The practice serves as a patronage for political big wigs who made it happen during elections. They forward names of their wives and children including the dead who stay at home but collectsfat monthly pay packages without knowing the road to their offices. In fact, it is incontrovertible that some people earn salaries and wages for years without knowing their state secretariats or local government headquarters. Before the introduction of e-payment policy by government, states and local government secretariats are always beehives of activities as supposed staff throng in, in anticipation of payment of salaries only for the human traffic to dry up thereafter.It is a desperate cult of money and power seekers who initiate subordinates strategically positioned and designated to take this baton of corruption to the next stagein sustenance of the depraved legacy as the oldones bow out of service. The tall, strong, huge iroko tree of ghost worker syndrome was planted long ago and it must take the gut of a bulldozer to pull it down. Government must take drastic actionsaimed at rooting out those involved in perpetrating the evils of ghost worker syndrome wherever they are in Nigeria. Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance is at the vanguard of putting an end to it. It was reported that the Continuous Audit Team has saved about N50 billion and over 43, 000 ghost workers were identified nationwide and removed from federal government payroll of ghost workers. She also promised persecution of those involved in the scam. One of the lasting solutions to inability of states to pay salaries rests in eliminating ghost workers disorder. The governorsshould as a matter of urgency borrow a leaf from the federal government to stem the tide. I cannot imagine a non-management staff having a ghost worker. If it is obtainable at all, such a staff must have been induced by the “oga at the top” who has the power and authority to infuse as many ghosts workers as he wants. Therefore, government knows the category of staff to investigate as part of the measures to end this scourge. Dealing with ghost workers syndrome in Nigeria is a joint task for all. Sunday Onyemaechi Eze, is a Media and Communications specialist. . He wrote via [email protected]

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