After a census of active State workers launched in 2006 through which some 13,000 ghost workers were reportedly unmasked, here comes another crusade. This time around, it is to know all State pensioners and next-of-kins of deceased State workers who are still due State benefits.
The exercise that begins this Wednesday February 25, 2015 seeks to take an inventory of the concerned people in terms of unpaid salaries and other abnormalities. It is expected that at term, beneficiaries of invalidity pensions as well as other undue allowances will be fished out and the undeserved money hitherto paid out to them left in State coffers.
This sounds comforting especially as it would economise money for use in productive sectors of the economy. This is equally good as its success would be a plus to good governance highly sought for by the Yaounde authorities in its newfound long-term sustainable socio-economic development drive.
That over 13,000 ghost State workers were unmasked in the last operation and FCFA 5 billion hard-earned money economized speaks of the enormity of the problem that orchestrated government to embark on diverse measures to cleanse the State’s payroll of impostors. Again, it is telling of how much public authorities could earn in stringent public finance management for the good of the economy.
As the various joint control teams of officials of the Ministries of Finance and the Public Service and Administrative Reforms set out for the campaign, it would be imperative to stretch even beyond limits to attain the objectives. Drawing out because of the complexity of the problem and probably the calibre of people perpetrating it. Alleged situations where someone already on retirement continually receives hisher full salary as if in active service is commonplace. And that the salary of a deceased State functionary continues to flow months and sometimes years after he passed on is simply clear proof of complicity in high places and by well-placed officials. Unmasking them and halting the malpractices wouldn’t be easy anyway.
As government wages war against their dubious but seemingly ‘juicy businesses’, the perpetrators would certainly seek ways of either intimidating the inspection teams or caressing them in one way or the other to overlook some cases. The crusade therefore needs to be carried to the end and without any complicity whatsoever. All should also be done to ensure that as the crusade closes some pipes through which money flows, illegally though, to feed actors in the chain, the environment shouldn’t be fertile to nurse others in some forms as well. There should be celerity and better traceability in handling files of people on retirement.
The actual situation of the country doesn’t give room for any wasteful spending. The war against Boko Haram is costly but cannot be abandoned. Revenue collection, especially customs, is compromised. In the midst of this, life-changing projects must be engaged and executed to the letter. The success of the ongoing census is thus imperative. As such, the terms of reference must be respected to the letter by all and for all without any discrimination.
Source : Cameroon Tribune