Most people who complain about the leakages in Ghana's payroll system would be delighted to hear the Finance Minister's latest revelation.
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According to Ken Ofori Atta, "50,000 ghost names" have been cleared from Ghana's payroll and pension payout database.
The minister noted that this was part of "giant steps" to be taken by the New Patriotic Party government to stop all leakages of money and also reduce Ghana's wage bill.
Mr. Ofori Atta made was speaking at a a review programme of Ghana’s extended credit facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Accra when his disclosed the action. “Actions such as we did yesterday to remove 50,000 names from payroll and pension to ensure that there are not ghost,” Ofori Atta said.
He further revealed that reforms have been enacted at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Customs Excise and Preventive Service to prevent dire revenue loss.
“Changes at GRA and changes at customs ensure that we get the revenues that we need because I think part of the wage bill of our programme is really a test as to whether we really have the methods to ensure that the revenue that we have projected will get the money,” he said.
In 2015, the Ghana National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) estimated that the corrupt practice of padding salaries and generating “ghost names” on the public payroll, costs Ghana about GH¢300 million annually.