News / Africa

Cameroon Works to Eliminate 'Ghost Workers' from Payroll

FILE - Cameroonian soldier stands guard.
FILE - Cameroonian soldier stands guard.
Cameroon has started cleaning its payroll of so-called "ghost workers" who are believed to cost the country $12 million every month.  But the effort appears to also have impacted legitimate government workers - especially those in the military - who say they are not getting paid.  

At a bank in Cameroon's capital. Yaounde, three soldiers quarreled with a cashier. They complained that they have not been receiving all of their salary for a few months. One of the soldiers, Didier Manda, told VOA that his salary had been reduced from about $500 to $380 per month and he can no longer provide all of his family's needs.

He said it has been exactly three months without all of his salary and asked how he and his family can survive?  It is not normal, he said, adding that he needs all of his money.

Another soldier, Fopa Nestor, who had taken a loan from his bank said what he earned for the month of December, 2013 was just enough to pay back the loan, so his monthly take home pay came up short.  It is unthinkable that somebody should work and not be paid as agreed to, he added.

Last November, Cameroon announced that it was intensifying efforts to modernize its public service and rid it of people who rob the state by receiving undue benefits.

Officials of the country's Ministry of Finance discovered that many workers submitted fake birth certificates to get child benefits.  Some continued to collect allowances paid to appointed officials even when they no longer had positions of responsibility.  Officials said claims were being made for civil servants who had moved abroad or who had died.

Cameroon's minister of finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, told VOA that the civil servants who saw a reduction in their salaries or found out that payments had been suspended, may have been those stealing from the state and there is now  a management system that detects such illegal payments.

“The different advantages you get is automatically set in the system. It is not more manual, and doing it like this helps clean the payroll and those who unduly benefited from some advantages will be prevented from getting it any more,” said Mey.

The minister said the military has been feeling the pinch this month because it has come under scrutiny.  However, he assured those whose salaries were unjustly reduced or not paid that they could file complaints for corrections to be made.

“We will address the short comings with regards to their situation. This will help us establish those who deserve the payment and those who unfortunately did not," stated Mey.

The government has not officially announced how much the fake employees were costing the government. But the Yaounde based non-governmental organization, Dynamique Citoyenne, that collaborates with the Cameroonian government in addressing governing issues, said $12 million may now be saved every month.

The public has had mixed reactions to the effort to get rid of the ghost workers.

University graduate, Ayeni Paul, who is a butcher in Yaounde, told VOA that he has hopes of a higher paying government job since huge sums of money are now being saved.

“People fake documents to claim more salaries. There are many people not only in the military. They [the government] should go to all levels and check. They should continue with their efforts to fight corruption,” said Paul.

Wirkom Martin, 23, a college student, said he has no confidence in the reforms because Cameroonians are very corrupt.

Cameroon has been classified by Transparency International on two occasions as the most corrupt country in the world.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid