No fewer than 22 ghost primary schools and 24 head teachers have been discovered in the Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger State. Investigations showed that between the ghost schools and head teachers, a whopping N76m was being lost monthly.
The discovery of the ‘ghosts’ followed a staff audit ordered by the Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Inuwa Adamu Fuka.
It was discovered that in addition to the ‘ghost’ schools and head teachers, some senior staff of the local government, who either had been transferred to the state’s Ministry for Local Government or were retired, still drew their salaries, at least, up to the end of April this year.
Some of the ‘ghosts’ schools were located in Minna, the capital of the state. Investigation revealed the names of the schools as Kurmin Sarki Primary School (located in the low cost area of the state capital), Angwan Gaya Model Primary School, Awal Ibrahim Primary School, Bagudu Waziri Primary School, as well as Rabah Kede Primary School.
Part of the shocking discovery, according to the investigation, is a level 5 staff of the local government that was drawing the salary of a level 15 officer. Also, an employee who withdrew his appointment to join the Federal Government parastatal still had his name on the pay roll and was collecting his salary monthly until April.
According to the findings, the Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Adamu Fuka, had directed that all the ‘ghost’ schools and head teachers’ salaries should be stopped, until the audit team had completed its assignment and submitted a report to the council.
In addition, it was gathered that Fuka had asked that those involved in the scam should be identified and their names submitted to his office.
“You are to identify and submit the names of scheduled officers responsible for the payment as from January 2010 to April 2016,” he said.
When contacted, Fuka neither denied not confirm the story. He however said, “I have heard what you are talking about. Wait for a report to be submitted to me to enable me say something on the issue.”
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had recently directed all local government chairmen in the state to carry out a staff audit to identify genuine workers. He said this would bring down the huge salary bills paid by the local government areas.