'Ghost' pensioners cost Nigeria $175
28 October 2011, 13:08
Abuja - Nigeria said it had been losing 28 billion naira ($175 million) annually on pensions for non-existent government 'ghost workers', a further sign of the impact corruption has on sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest economy.
New Finance Minister and Coordinator of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has pledged to reduce the level of recurrent expenditure in next year's budget and tackle 'leakages'.
Africa's most populous nation spends over 70 percent of its crude oil earnings on keeping government running, leaving little for development of infrastructure and service delivery.
Ibrahim Sali, who heads the Service of the Federation - the government administration - said on Thursday the ghost pension payments had now been stopped.
"With the weeding out of 71,135 ghost pensioners, the federal government will make an annual saving of about 28 billion," he told the national assembly.