Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been described as the largest private employer of ghost workers in the country.
The description is coming from the Presidency in reactions to claims that the former vice president popularly known as Atiku has about 100,000 workers on his payroll.
Trouble started on Thursday when Mohammed El-Yakub, Managing Director of Gotel Communications, Abubakar’s Adamawa-based media organisation, said his principal has approved a new minimum wage for all staff of his companies pegging the new wage at N33,000.
El-Yakub also gave the total numeric strength of the beneficiaries to be “over 100,000”.
“The N33,000 new salary scale, which takes effect from November 2018, includes domestic servants and all categories of workers on the former VP’s payroll,” El-Yakub told an online news medium, Sahara Reporters.
The claim came amidst protest by Nigerian Workers urging the federal government to review the national minimum wage currently N18,000 recommending an increase to N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
Known companies and organisations of the former vice president includes: Adama Beverages (producers of Faro water), American University of Nigeria (AUN), Gotel Communications, Rica Gardo & Standard Microfinance, Prodeco, ABTI International Secondary School, and Intels Nigeria Ltd. Unverified report says he also once ventured into maize and cotton farming.
A recent report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) suggests the claim to be false, querying if Atiku employed more workers than Aliko Dangote, one of the richest men in the African continent whose workforce is below 40,000.
Reacting the Presidency said the former vice president has emerged the largest employer of ghost workers.
“100,000 workers indeed!,” Lauretta Onochie, the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media said in a tweet late Sunday.
“Clearly, he is the largest private sector employer of Ghost Workers seeing he claims workers he does not have,” she added.