Teachers’ salaries suspended in Guinea-Bissau to root out fake staff

Guinea-Bissau’s government issued a statement on Thursday announcing the suspension of teachers’ salaries as part of an effort to eliminate fraudulent claims on the payroll involving fictitious workers.

To address its wage bill and combat the presence of ghost civil servants, the small West African nation, which heavily relies on external aid to cover education sector salaries, has declared a war on the issue.

In a decision made by the country’s council of ministers on July 18 and published on Thursday, the education ministry was directed to conduct a census of its employees’ numbers.

The decision is expected to impact approximately 8,000 teachers in the country’s primary and secondary schools, who earn an average of around 50,000 CFA francs ($85) per month. The announcement elicited threats of action from a teaching union.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which reached a staff level agreement for a $3.16 million extended credit facility for Guinea Bissau in May, has reported that the Bissau government failed to meet three out of eight economic reform targets that were due in March.

Among the missed targets, one was related to the ceiling on wages.

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