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‘Ghost names’ in Northern Region paid GH₵2.8m in salaries – OSP, CADG Report

Lawyer Kissi Agyabeng Boateng

A new report has uncovered nearly three million cedis in salaries earned by individuals who were deceased, retired, no longer in their positions, also known as ‘Ghost names’ in the Northern Region alone. This was revealed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller & Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) following a joint investigation into the government’s payroll administration, focusing on employees in the Northern Region.

The investigation revealed a number of unauthorized and inactive validators handling the payroll system for educational institutions under the Ghana Education Service and the Tamale Teaching Hospital. In a May 20 press release, the OSP pointed to a primary school in the Kumbungu District of the Ghana Education Service which was found to be entirely fictitious.

“It was discovered that a primary school in the Kumbungu District of Ghana Education Service did not exist at all. Yet, this non-existent contrived entity was represented as staffed and the purported staff were being validated monthly and being paid salaries,” the OSP said. Additionally, some GH₵2.8m was discovered as unearned monthly salaries paid to ‘Ghost Names’.

“A staggering amount of GH₵2,854,144.80 was identified as unearned monthly salaries, attributed to individuals who were deceased, retired, no longer in their positions, flagged as missing, or whose whereabouts were unknown, commonly referred to as “Ghost Names.” The Office added that “By blocking these payments and removing the corresponding individuals from the Government Payroll, the Republic saved GHC34,249,737.60 for the 2024 financial year.”

The OSP said it is liaising with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to conduct further investigations into the educational institutions under the Ghana Education Service in the Northern Region and the Tamale Teaching Hospital. These investigations aim to prosecute those responsible for promoting the non-existent school and for validating the payroll entries of deceased, untraceable, retired, or otherwise inactive individuals. The statement added the OSP and CAGD will extend the investigations to other regions soon.

Find the full reports below:

Government Payroll Administration – Phase I Vol 1

By: Kenneth Awotwe Darko

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