Cameroon’s Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform Joseph Le said on Wednesday a national physical headcount of civil servants has identified 7,622 fictitious workers on the state payroll, a fraud which had been plaguing the economy for years.
“It is almost four years since the state has been trying to get clarification from these personnel. Since the investigation has come to an end, it is high time that the repressive measures should be implemented,” Le told reporters at a media briefing in the capital, Yaounde.
“We have already sacked 493 personnel but the process is just beginning,” he added.
The ghost workers were mostly state employees who had either left to go and work for other organizations or simply left the country to work overseas.
The minister also cited the cases of 315 civil servants who had died but were still on the payroll of the state with family relations receiving their salaries.
Prosecutions could follow, but for the moment the priority was to get stolen money repaid, Le said.
So far, the government has recovered 30 billion CFA francs (about 55.86 million U.S. dollars), Le said.