Governor Bello Matawalle has revealed that the Zamfara State Government has identified no fewer than 199 ghost doctors who were in the state payroll that are yet to be found.
Matawalle made this known while speaking to journalists in Maradun town, the headquarters of Maradun Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
According to the governor, though the state government was paying salaries to 280 doctors every month, it discovered only 81 doctors are active in the entire state.
He further disclosed that he already met with the state chapter of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) on how to trace those 199 ghost doctors who spent long periods of time collecting salaries illegally with a view to block those behind the manipulation.
Matawalle explained that the discovery of the ghost doctors was as a result of the ongoing biomedical data capture of the entire state workforce through the office of the state Head of Service.
The data collection exercise is said to be a reflection of the state government’s readiness to commence a proper implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage to the state workforce.
“The problem is, once we say we are going to implement it (N30,000), we can’t just say we are going to pay people directly like that. No, there was a system,” Matawalle said.
“We have developed a table and, unfortunately, during the exercise, it was discovered that there are over 280 doctors that have been collecting salaries from the state government, but in reality, we have only 81 doctors in Zamfara State.
“The labor union just confirmed to me why they delayed it — that they want to make sure that things go right because we cannot just continue like that as a government.”
He assured the public that no genuine civil servant will be retrenched by his administration with regard to implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage payment.
“I am not going to retrench anybody. In fact, I am going to give them (civil service) houses for all the civil servants. I have built 450 houses for them which nobody knows about it, but on Sunday, I will give them the keys,” he said.