So-called ‘ghost names’ contain 13,800 of our members – NAGRAT

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is raising red flags about the authenticity of the over 26,589 ghost names government said have been removed on the payroll.

NAGRAT President, Christian Adai Poku told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Newsnite Wednesday, a total of 13,800 members of the Association have been captured in the supposed list of ghost names.

He said NAGRAT had anticipated the challenge but thought the Finance Ministry would have taken steps to rectify any outstanding anomalies.

NAGRAT President, Christian Adai Poku

The NAGRAT President’s comment is in reaction to revelation by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that some 26,589 names have been found as ghosts on the payroll.

In his speech to mark the May Day celebration in Accra Monday, the President said the deletion of the names has saved the country GHS443 million.

“These workers have not come forward to be biometrically verified by SSNIT, despite numerous calls by the Controller and Accountant General to do so,” he said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The Finance Ministry had directed the removal of 26,589 workers from the payroll on April 18 for not registering on the new SSNIT biometric system.

The biometric verification has been designed to isolate ghost names from government’s payroll for deletion.

President Akufo-Addo has said the country spent GHS36, 166,203 per month to maintain the ghost workers but the country has been saved the amount when payment ceased in April.

He had promised his government will put in place other measures to clean the payroll.

But NAGRAT and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have said they suspect some of their members are on the list because they have not been paid their April salary.

GMA General Secretary, Dr Justice Yankson told Joy News he has had reports that at least more than 200 doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi are on the list.

He said government could have done due diligence before making public the 26,589 names it claims were ghost workers on the payroll.

A surgeon specialist with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Hardy Mohammed Abdullah also told Joy News the removal of their colleagues names from the payroll has created unnecessary embarrassment and inconvenience.

He revealed, “It was a rude shock and sad to me because the day it happened, I was on duty with some colleagues. It was not because they had not registered because we went through the same process as everybody.”

President Akufo-Addo with Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the May Day celebration

Dr Mohammed Abdullah said his colleagues had gone through the registration and verification processes but an error by one of the state institutions is to be blamed for the problem.

But NAGRAT said it was not surprised to find out more of its members are on the purported ghost names.

Mr Adai Poku said when they met the Finance Minister last week as part of payroll negotiations, they made it clear the over 26,000 ghost workers are not ghosts but they were assured of remedial steps being taken to address the anomaly.

“We took preventive action before the payroll was ran but they said payment has already been made and that they will pay the data which was full of mistakes by 15 May,” he said.

He has called on the Finance Ministry and Controller and Accountant General’s Department to address the issues in order to restore the payment of salaries to their members.

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