Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the federal government saved over N600 billion by using the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform and also embarking on the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).

The minister said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a retreat on the roles of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the implementation of IPPIS and its effect on workers.

The retreat was aimed at providing a platform to brainstorm and share ideas on relevant issues critical to the successful implementation of the IPPIS.

Ahmed, who was represented by Armstrong Takang, revealed that 519 MDAs have been brought under the policy.

The minister said the ministry saved over N100 billion using the IPPIS screening platform.

Also, according to the minister, “Available records from the federal ministry of finance through the activities of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) saved over N500 billion.

“A substantial part of this amount was saved as a result of continuous verification of the Nominal Roll and Payrolls of MDAs.”

She said government personnel found to have been involved in the inclusion of ghost records on the platform are being prosecuted ”while some are already serving jail terms”.

The finance minister said, “Until the IPPIS platform is efficiently implemented to the stage where it is absolutely impossible to insert ghost employees or where personnel, on reaching the mandatory retirement age or length of service can be automatically removed and transferred from the active workforce to the pension records, then the aims and objectives of the policy would remain unachieved.”

She lamented that about 70 per cent of the monthly revenue inflow to the consolidated revenue fund (CRF) is being spent on recurrent expenditure.

She said the trend would not free the much-needed resources for improving the standard of living.

She highlighted the challenges facing the IPPIS to include lack of a reliable and comprehensive database for the public service; inability to forecast manpower needs and requirements of MDAs and growing wage-bill as well as a lack of synchronisation of civil servants records with pension administration.

The Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, at the event, also revealed ”there are over 700,000 staff on the IPPIS platform: 39 Nigeria Police Commands and three formations, four Paramilitary agencies and retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries as against 285 MDAs with over 235,000 staff in 2015”.

“Also, the trial payroll for the military and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is scheduled to commence in May 2019,” he said.

He highlighted the challenges faced in the course of the implementation of IPPIS.

These include change management issue, institutional resistance, lack of commitment from MDAs, conflict of roles and laws among the stakeholders and delay in enrollment processes.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, said the ‘training’ of about 25,000 civil servants would soon commence.

She also spoke on the verification of civil servants.

“The activities towards the implementation of the HR module have commenced fully first with the online records update.

“This was followed by the verification exercise of all public servants, starting with core civil servants with the view of cleansing and migrating the data of all public servants on the IPPIS portal.”

She said the verification exercise had been completed in Lagos and Abuja.

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