Politics and Society
Mali to remove 13,000 ghost workers from payroll, saving U.S.$50 million
Mali has become the latest African country to embark on a program to identify and remove ghost workers from the public service payroll, in the fight against corruption and malfeasance. The country has identified 13,000 ghost workers from the national payroll, which cost the treasury about 30 billion CFA francs ($50 million), officials say.
Mali has become the latest African country to embark on a program to identify and remove ghost workers on the public service payroll. The country has reportedly identified 13,000 ghost workers from the national payroll, which cost the treasury about 30 billion CFA francs ($50 million), officials from the finance ministry say.
According to Reuters, the ghost workers are mostly employees who are deceased or left the public service and government authorities are expected to descend heavily on offenders.
Corruption and lack of transparency remain amongst Mali’s most enduring problems and the government has embarked on a robust anti-corruption and austerity drive.
Mali has previously performed dismally in efforts to fight corruption, and it has scored disappointingly low on the Transparency International (TI) annual corruption index. However, there has been an improvement. In its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) last year, Transparency International ranked Mali 95 out of 167, and the West African country has recorded a slight improvement, after being ranked 115 out of 175 in 2014. The improvement could be partly due to a number of public anti-corruption reforms and initiatives.
Corruption within the public service, and the scourge of ghost workers continue to hamper development efforts across the continent. However, a number of countries have made strides in setting up institutions to combat corruption, and strengthen public administrative control mechanisms.
Read: Tanzania removes 10,000 ghost workers from payroll, saving U.S.$2million monthly
Recently, Uganda removed about 5,500 ghost workers from the payroll as part of efforts to clampdown on corruption. Early this year, Nigeria’s finance ministry revealed that it removed more than 23,000 ghost workers from the national payroll, after a biometric investigation, saving 2.3 billion naira ($11.5 million) a month. The audit revealed that that 7.6 percent of employees either don’t exist or receive multiple salaries under different names.
In Zimbabwe, in a comprehensive audit conducted five years ago, more than 75 000 ghost workers in the public sector were unearthed. The country’s finance ministry has struggled to manage the wage bill, which is reported to be 80 percent of government revenues.