As of March 2014, the federal government has saved N161.9bn that would have been given to ghost workers. So far 56,000 ghost workers have been completely removed. In past times these ghost workers have been drawing salaries from the federal movement and thereby increasing the recurrent expenditure of the government.
This was contained in a book presented on Thursday by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja as part of Democracy celebration, the book titled, “The transformation agenda: Reviewing progress, matching forward”.
The 98-page book catalogues the achievements of the present administration between 2013 and 2014. The book was published by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The elimination of the ghost workers was made possible through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
The decision to put the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in place was borne out the various fiscal challenges faced by the nation’s economy at the onset of Jonathan’s administration.
It said, “In terms of fiscal deficit, in 2010, the government’s fiscal deficit stood at 3.5 per cent of GDP, despite the maximum three per cent deficit stipulated by Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“On government spending, a large chunk of government expenditure was focused on recurrent items such as the cost of running several government agencies with overlapping responsibilities and a huge wage bill, leaving little fiscal space for investment in critical infrastructure that could drive economic growth.
In 2010, recurrent expenditures took 73.4 per cent of the total FGN budget while capital expenditures stood at just 26.6 per cent.
“On debt, Federal Government’s debt was rising rapidly, reaching N7.5 trillion at the end of 2012 and N10.2 trillion at the end of March 2014.
“On revenue, Nigeria needed to diversify its revenue base and reduce its dependence on oil revenues which are subject to volatile prices.”
As stated in the book, the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System was introduced in 2012 it was introduced to improve the acquisition, allocation, utilization and conservation of the government’s resources.
It said that the system adopted integrated and automated economic information to track government expenditures and minimize waste. The system was used in 2013 budget to execute 58 percent while it was expected to eliminate 100 per cent in 2014.
The book revealed that the government had created a Treasury Single Account, which is a unified structure of government bank accounts that give a consolidated view of the government’s cash position.
It stated, “Over 10 per cent of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on TSA and the government has already gone from an overdraft of N102bn to a credit of N86 bn as at the end of 2013.
“As a result of these measures, the government’s fiscal deficit declined from 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2010 to about 1.85 per cent in 2013 but is projected to rise marginally to 1.9 per cent of GDP in 2014.
“Recurrent expenditure also reduced from 74.4 per cent in 2011, to 71.5 per cent in 2012 and further to 67.5 per cent in 2013, but it has risen back to 74 per cent in 2014 on the back of military and civilian pension arrears that needed to be incorporated in the budget and also possible decline in oil revenues”.