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Biometric screening in Nigeria trims local government payrolls, finds unqualified teachers

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A biometric screening conducted on primary school teachers in the state of Borno, Nigeria discovered that only 60 percent (10,103 out of the 26,250 screened) possess the required teaching qualifications, Punch reports the Committee on Verification and Biometric Data Capture of Local Education Authority Staff has revealed.

The committee discovered reasons behind the lack, such as teachers with fake certificates, those due for retirement but who had refused to go, questionable appointment letters, underage teachers, and those working in multiple places.

Due to the findings, the committee has cut the monthly wage bill of primary school teachers after the screening from N693.1m to N427.8m (US$112 million).

Meanwhile, Nigerian local government staff in 27 areas have also been sent for biometric verification by the Committee. Out of the 71,558 staff submitted for verification only 63,291 presented themselves for the exercise and of whom 56,806 were cleared for biometric data capture that has yet to be conducted, reports Vanguardngr.

Some were similarly found to have fake certificates and bank statements; also finding staff who were either over-aged and those who overstayed in their positions. Committee Chairman Kaka Mallam-Yale recommends setting up of a new committee for the pending biometric data capture of already cleared staff.

“The salary wage bill for the 27 local government areas was N1.1 billion ($288 million), but the figure dropped to N965 million ($253 million) after the verification exercise” says Kaka-Yale, saving the Borno government N237 million (roughly $621,700) every month.

‘Ghost workers’ have plagued Nigeria’s public service and education system, prompting identity checks in various areas.

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