The Bayelsa State government during the week revealed that over 27,000 ghost and illegal workers had so far been discovered in the payrolls of the ministries, agencies and local governments.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who made the disclosure, said the ongoing public sector reforms in the state had led to more bizarre discoveries.
Iworiso-Markson told stakeholders in Sagbama Local Government Area, at a town hall meeting on reforms, that the development had brought the workforce down from 54,000 to 27,000.
Stakeholders from Sagbama, the local government area of Governor Seriake Dickson, unanimously, through voice vote, endorsed the ongoing reforms.
Iworiso-Markson said: “Look at what has happened through the reforms. From 54,000 workers, with reforms, we are now 27,000 workers in the entire state. It means that the difference of about 27,000 workers are fake people.
“Since 1996 that the state was created, it is only now that we are realizing that Bayelsa is being shortchanged. It means that billions of naira had entered into the pockets of some people. They are the people fighting these reforms.
“The people against these reforms are those who are taking advantage of our collective wealth and appropriating it into their own personal pockets and putting all of us, including the state, in this terrible mess. When you hear them criticize the reforms, take note of them, it is very possible they are those shortchanging the state.”