Kaduna State Government has identified about 2, 484 ghost pensioners with its introduction of biometric verification of workers.

The State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai said this at a town hall meeting organized by the state government, adding that  a further investigation revealed that another 1,404 pensioners have been classified as probable ghosts.

He said, “The savings from the ghost pensioners amount to about N1.3 billion per annum. We have set in motion a process to investigate those behind the pension racket so that we can prosecute them. With the ghosts struck off, we now have a new pensions’ payroll.”

According to him, the verification of current public servants is also moving to a new phase, adding,” MDAs and Local Government Councils will verify their staff at their desks. The first phase helped us save nearly N120million in just one month. We will not relent until there is a perfect match between the real number of public servants and those who get paid.”

El-Rufai noted that apart from verifying persons, the government is also checking the actual status of schools and collating reports on the phenomenon of ghost schools.

To ensure that its free education policy is well implemented, the governor said that the Kaduna State Government is directly recruiting 2,266 teachers of English, Mathematics and the Sciences. 

According to him, teachers shortlisted for the recruitment exercise wrote their exams on Thursday, 15 October 2015, adding, “ Recruitment of 2,550 candidates for KASTELEA is also about to be concluded.

These numbers are still few, compared to the number of youths who need jobs. Government recognizes that mass job creation relies on attracting and encouraging private sector investments. We are doing this vigorously.”

The governor lamented that the present administration met the schools in terrible states of dilapidation; with poor facilities, lack of water, lack of toilets facilities and lack of furniture for 50% of the pupils. 

“We have taken on the duty to fix the schools and recruit teachers for them. We have mobilised the resources. By December, we expect to have made significant progress in teacher recruitment and posting, school repairs and the provision of furniture,” he stated.

The governor spoke on the conditions of Service for Teachers. He explained that the government would not just recruit the teachers but would ensure that the dignity of teachers are restored to help achieve better results in educating the children. 

To achieve this El-Rufai said that the government had removed the barrier to the career advancement of teachers. “A circular has been issued to reflect our decision that teachers can henceforth rise to Grade Level 17, and enjoy the status of Permanent Secretary without having to stop being teachers. We have gone a step further to set up a committee to examine the conditions of service of teachers,” he said.