Biometric system reveals Somalia’s civil service payroll filled by ghost workers

More than two thirds of Somalia’s federal civil servants earn salaries for doing no work, claims the President.

The government biometric time and attendance system shows only 1 500 of more than 5 000 federal public workers show up for work every day.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud revealed the figures when speaking to government officials during Friday prayers at the presidential mosque in the capital Mogadishu, reports the Horn Observer.

“There are more than 5 000 civil servants registered in our biometric system, but only 1 500 of them report to work every day.

Where are the rest? They do not exist or they do not live in the country. However, they are still paid. “They are thieves and their superiors who accepted this scheme are also thieves. They are simply stealing public money,” the embittered President is quoted as saying.

The Somali leader also accused some public servants of stealing money to fund their trips to the Hajj – the holy pilgrimage undertaken by the Muslim faithful to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Somali civil servants are paid largely by money from the World Bank and donor nations such as the United States and Britain which are helping the country regain political and financial stability after decades of war against insurgency, notes the Horn Observer.

The biometric identification system was put in place by the World Bank in 2014 within the framework of a project dubbed the Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing (RCRF) project, which pays Somali public servants, the outlet indicates.

Other portals report that President Mohamud’s address sparked widespread anger in Mogadishu and other parts of the country, with many citizens urging his administration to take urgent action against those found guilty of unduly earning money from the government.

Somalia started discussing plans for a national ID system back in 2018, with lawmakers endorsing the National ID Authority bill in 2020.


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