Nigeria has raised the alarm that about 70 per cent of its monthly revenue inflow into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) is being spent on recurrent expenditure.
This alarm was raised in Abuja by the Minister of Finance Mrs Zainab Ahmed at a retreat on the roles of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the implementation of IPPIS and its effect on workers’ condition of service and government revenue.
Ahmed who was represented by Dr Armstrong Ume Takang an official from the ministry said this trend of spending about 70% of the revenue “will not free the much-needed resources for improving our standard of living”.
One of the ways of solving the problem, the finance minister noted, is through the continued implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) that was introduced in 2007.
According to the finance minister, “available records from the federal ministry of finance through the activities of the activities of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) has revealed a saving of over N500 billion”.
A substantial part of this amount she said was saved as a result of continuous verification of the Nominal Roll and Payrolls of MDAs.
Also, direct savings from the yearly appropriations of MDAs on the IPPIS platform has grown to over N100 billion while 519 MDAs have been brought under the policy.
Zainab Ahmed stated that 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 noted that “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 went on to highlight the challenges bedeviling IPPIS to include: lack of reliable and comprehensive database for the public service, inability to forecast manpower needs and requirements of MDAs, growing wage-bill as well as a lack of synchronization of civil servants records with pension administration.
In his opening remark, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Idris Ahmed, revealed that “there are over 700,000 staff on IPPIS platform, 39 Nigeria Police Commands and three formations, four Paramilitary agencies and retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries.
In addition, the trial payroll for the military and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is scheduled to commence in May, 2019.”
On his part, he identified the challenges to the implementation of IPPIS to include, change management issue, institutional resistance, lack of commitment from MDAs, conflict of roles and laws among the stakeholders and delay in enrollment processes.
Also speaking at the event, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, disclosed that the Learning Management component of the IPPIS module is on course and very soon training of 25,000 civil servants would commence.
According to her, “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.
The verification exercise has been completed in Lagos and Abuja. Indeed the OHCSF being the pilot is now live on the IPPIS portal with employees being able to carry out the self-service component of IPPIS.