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IRIN Africa | Great Lakes | CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC | CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Census unearths 1,699 ghost workers | Economy | Breaking News
Wednesday 21 December 2005
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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Census unearths 1,699 ghost workers

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BANGUI, 14 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - An ongoing census of civil servants in the Central African Republic (CAR) has revealed 1,699 ghost workers, Prime Minister Elie Dote said on Thursday.

"All ghost civil servants will be taken to court," he said in a declaration broadcast on national radio. "Civil servants who were receiving illegal salaries will not have their pay for a three-month period and will appear before the public sector disciplinary council."

There are an estimated 25,000 civil servants for CAR's 3.5 million population. Dote said some 17,933 civil servants already had been counted and the number was projected to rise in coming days.

Many of the ghost workers were recorded in the ministries of foreign affairs, education, health, interior, defence and finance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had the highest number of ghost workers.

Dote said a number of such workers had fake documents and no connection with public service. He said that the tally, which began in August, had helped recover at least 370 million francs CFA (US $680,000) that had been paid illegally to ghost workers.

The outcome of the government's operation has been positively received by trade unions. On Friday, Noel Ramadan, vice-chairman of the Union syndicale des travailleurs de Centrafrique, the country's largest trade union, said the organisations supported the government's plan to purge ghost workers in order to resolve the issue of salary arrears, which has plagued the CAR for several years.

However, he said hundreds of legitimate civil servants had not been paid their salaries since January.

The government's decision to conduct a civil servants' census followed a visit by a World Bank delegation, which said the salaries paid to civil servants were excessive and recommended the census.

Since 2003, the government's wage bill has increased from 2.5 billion francs ($4.5 million) to 3.5 billion francs ($6.4 million).


 Theme(s) Economy
Other recent CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC reports:

Police stops rally by unpaid civil servants ,  12/Dec/05

Returning refugees risk being displaced,  6/Dec/05

Government sets up new road maintenance agency,  5/Dec/05

Minister warns media to end hostility to women,  5/Dec/05

UN appeals for US $4.7 billion in life-saving aid,  2/Dec/05

Other recent Economy reports:

CONGO: EU, gov't sign US $73.8-million road building deal, 20/Dec/05

EGYPT: Economists welcomed WTO accord on cotton subsidies, 20/Dec/05

AFRICA: High unemployment undermining economic growth, 20/Dec/05

YEMEN: Fishing industry gets US $25 million credit boost, 19/Dec/05

MIDDLE EAST: Appeal to Arab world to give more to world’s poorest, 16/Dec/05

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