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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid