Friday, November 4, 2011

Nigerian Baby Discovered on Government Payroll

Former Head Banking Commissioner
Lagos, Nigeria, Nov 4, 2011.  A one-month-old baby, who is said to hold a college diploma, was on the Nigerian government payroll, officials have discovered, exposing the rampant corruption in Africa's most populous country.

The name of the infant was recently found on the payment voucher of a local government council in northern Nigeria during an exercise to fish out ghost employees from a bloated workforce, Garba Gajam, justice commissioner for Zamfara State told AFP late Wednesday.

"We discovered that a one-month-old baby was among the employees of one local government who is paid a salary," Gajam said.

Adding family members to the payroll is a common practice among local government officials, according to state justice commissioner Garba Gajam.

"What is even more astonishing is that it was indicated in the payroll that the infant holds an ordinary national diploma," said Gajam, revealing that the discovery is a "widespread trend in the local government service where senior officials stuff payrolls with the names of their wives and children".

This latest fraud was discovered during an investigation into such "ghost workers", he said. The case was broken when the baby sent out over 60,000 emails, claiming to have discovered large bank accounts with unclaimed millions in them. The baby said the money would be sent in exchange for the payment of the usual processing fees.

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