The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said on Thursday in Lagos that the N165 billion monthly salaries to federal civil servants was over-bloated and could no longer be sustained by government.
The minister spoke at a meeting with Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) hosted by her counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Adeosun who was speaking on the economy reform agenda of the government, said that the N165 billion being paid to federal civil servants monthly represented 40 per cent of the total spending of government.
She said the figure was too high and government was pursuing aggressive measures to detect and prosecute ghost workers and other saboteurs in the system.
“We spend 165 billion every month on salaries and when I came in there was no checking.
“Now, we have created a unit assigned with the sole responsibility of checking the salaries and catching those behind the over bloated salaries,’’ she said.
Adeosun said that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the previous administration were faulty and sabotaged by the element benefitting from the salary fraud.
She said that many Federal Government establishments including the Police were yet to be captured in the system.
According to her, it is shocking that the Nigerian Railway Corporation which was not fully functioning still had 10,000 workers in its payroll serviced by government.
The minister assured that government would correct the anomalies in the payroll system and weed out all ghost workers in the service.