While speaking to State House correspondents at an interactive meeting to mark the end of 2016, Garba Shehu said the federal government payroll has been rid of 50,000 ghost workers, saving the country a huge amount of N200 billion.
The statement according to his facebook page reads:"The flagship program of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instill good governance is on course.
"Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.
"When the the committee was constituted in February 2016, federal government monthly salary bill was N151 billion excluding pensions.
"Now the monthly salary warrant is N138 billion, excluding pensions. Which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13 billion. That is from February 2016 to date."
"the pension bill was 15.5bn monthly as at February. Now it is down to N14.4 billion, which means average monthly saving is made of about N1.1 billion."
On the issue of the recently released 21 Chibok girls He said:
"A black American billionaire, Mr Robert Smith who is currently sponsoring the education of 24 girls from Chibok, among them the first set set of escapees from Boko Haram at the American University of Nigeria, Yola has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free. The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested."
On the agricultural programs put in place by President Buhari, Garba said:
"The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy.
"We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output. What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services.
"New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.
"When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favorable environment for the diversification of the economy.
"As we speak, several of the country's major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating- Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their share of the market.
"Manufacturers who are hooked on import of raw materials are advised to re- strategize and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials."
On the issue of parents not given access to thier released childrens,He assured:
"If the situation persists, pls let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession."
Shehu also announced that the 11 people who ran the syndicate of ghost workers have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.