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Ghost workers haunt Nigerian businesses

17 June 2016, 20:13

Lagos - Nigerian businesses have been urged to adopt technology and address the rampant problem of payroll fraud in the country.

Experts said payroll was one of the largest expenses for small and medium businesses and larger enterprises in West Africa, yet many local organisations were neglecting the importance of managing the risk of fraud in this area of the business.

Magnus Nmonwu, an industry expert, said payroll fraud was one of the most common white-collar crimes in the business world and is a threat, which left unmanaged, could pose serious harm to the profitability and long-term sustainability of all businesses.

Also read: EFCC commences probe into N70 million land scam

Nmonwu said the Nigerian government was recently in the news for removing nearly 24 000 “ghost employees” from its payroll, achieving a saving of about U$11,5 million on its monthly wage bill.

“But payroll fraud doesn’t just affect large employers like the state, it is also very common in smaller companies,” said Nmonwu, who is also Regional Director for Sage in West Africa.

Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs.

The company believes companies with no payroll solution in place or lots of human intervention in the payroll process were especially at risk of payroll fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission estimates there are over 37 000 ghost workers in the civil service costing government N1billion so far.

- CAJ News


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