26,589 ‘Ghosts’ Busted Gov’t Saves GH¢433m

President Akufo-Addo delivering an award to one of the workers at the ceremony

The issues about ghost names on the government payroll seem far from over, as another payroll fraud syndicate is said to have been busted.

Addressing workers at the Independence Square in Accra yesterday to mark May Day, President Akufo-Addo made a stunning revelation that “through a payroll audit conducted by the Ministry of Finance under the impressive leadership of Ken Ofori-Atta in the last two months, some twenty six thousand, five hundred and eighty nine (26,589) workers’ salaries have been suspended from the April 2017 payroll.”

These supposed ghost workers, who have somehow found their names on the government payroll, “have not come forward to be biometrically verified by SSNIT despite numerous calls by the Controller and Accountant General to do so.”

Meanwhile, he said the idea of biometric verification is essentially to isolate ghost names on the payroll.

According to the President, “The cost of maintaining these 26,589 names on government payroll is GH¢36,166,203 million per month,” meaning that government stands to save the country over GH¢433 million on this year’s budget alone by this exercise.

He has since announced a number of efforts aimed at cleaning the payroll, including new payment system that would integrate the GHIPSS payment platform for salaries to be paid directly to workers without any manual intervention, as has always been the case.

This, he said, would be implemented on a test basis this month and envisaged to cover all workers in June 2017.

Apart from that, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has also been asked to create a separate database for the Controller by biometrically registering close to 200,000 CAP30 workers, with government payroll now having a direct interface with this and the existing database, thus reducing payroll fraud to the barest minimum.

For Nana Akufo-Addo, “This will provide a complete end-to-end visibility of the entire payroll system, while having a seamless integration between payroll cost and the government’s general ledger,” saying “if we are to pay workers well, we must do at least two things: get rid of ghost ones and enhance the efficiency of genuine ones.”


By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent