Crackdown on Overseas Salary Fraud Exposes Civil Servants Abroad on Nigerian Payroll

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

AMID EFFORTS to overhaul the civil service, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), has unveiled a stringent crackdown, specifically targeting civil servants who reside abroad but continue to receive salaries.

Addressing media executives in Abuja during the 2024 Civil Service Week, Dr. Yemi-Esan detailed the outcomes of recent physical verification exercises conducted under the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

These exercises, she said, revealed a disturbing trend where a substantial number of civil servants were found to be drawing salaries despite their absence from their assigned duties.

The HOCSF said she had acted on a government’s directive to all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to conduct rigorous physical headcounts to verify the presence of personnel. emphasizing that stringent measures will be taken against any MDA heads found complicit in providing inaccurate information or covering up irregularities.

Dr. Yemi-Esan also disclosed that the crackdown has already resulted in the identification and subsequent dismissal of 1,618 civil servants who were found to have presented fake employment documents.

Additionally, individuals discovered to be residing abroad without official permission, yet still on the payroll, will face immediate termination following the completion of ongoing verifications.

Expressing her concern over these revelations, the HOCSF highlighted the detrimental impact of such fraudulent practices on public trust and the efficient allocation of public resources.

She reiterated the government’s commitment to fostering accountability and transparency within the civil service, acknowledging the critical role of the media in exposing and addressing these issues.

The theme for this year’s Civil Service Week, ‘Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century’, underscores broader efforts aimed at reforming education systems to ensure inclusive, lifelong, and quality learning opportunities across Africa.

Dr. Yemi-Esan concluded by urging all stakeholders, including civil servants and the public, to support ongoing reforms aimed at restoring integrity and efficiency within Nigeria’s civil service.

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