Abuja, Aug. 27, 2023: Some Federal Government departments and agencies have decried the delay in remittance of third-party deductions from their personnel emoluments by the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The government agencies complained that delay in remittance of deductions through the National Housing Fund (NHF), Cooperatives loans and other third-party deductions had created difficulties for members of staff.
Mr Stephen Igiewe, President of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Multipurpose Cooperative Society, said that the society had an outstanding of N17.8 million deductions from staff salaries as loan repayments, savings and shares, which was yet to be remitted by IPPIS.
He urged IPPIS to accelerate the process of remitting the amount.
“We appeal to members who may know people at the Budget Office and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to help accelerate remittance of this money,” he said.
He, however, said that the sum of N13.1 million, being November 2020 third-party deductions earlier withheld by IPPIS had been remitted to the cooperative.
Findings also revealed that total outstanding, third-party deductions from NAN staff salaries was about N69 million.
This includes deductions made through the NHF, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and other third-party initiatives.
Recently, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) said that IPPIS failed to remit N26.6 billion of workers contributory funds in two years.
The Managing Director of FMBN, Mr Madu Hamman, said this while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad hoc committee probing the non-remittance to the NHF.
Hamman said that from October to December 2022 there was 40 per cent unremitted payment to FMBN resulting from revenue drive by the Federal Government.
“From January to December 2022, N11.587 billion was not remitted as backlog payments for MDAs from IPPIS, while N3. 356 billion was not remitted from April to July 2021 as outstanding failed payments for 2021 from IPPIS,” he said.
He said that some NHF payments meant to be paid to FMBN as housing contributions had been wrongly made into the Federal Government Loan and Scholarships Board, adding that 14 MDAs were affected by the wrong payments.
He said all contributors were eligible for a full refund of their contribution over the years, including accrued interest of two per cent upon retirement.
He said that FMBN had refunded N66.678 billion to 444,637 beneficiaries over the years.
However, IPPIS denied complicity in delayed remittances of all third-party deductions.
A schedule officer in IPPIS, who craved anonymity, said that though the office was responsible for reconciling such remittances, it had never been in custody of such deductions.
He said that all outstanding NHF remittances had been remitted to the FMBN, while that of the NAN Multipurpose Cooperative Society was receiving attention and had made enormous progress.
Many civil servants across several MDAs, including the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) were recently suspended for alleged salary padding on IPPIS.
The allegation was confirmed by RMAFC Chairman, Mohammed Shehu, who confirmed that those identified had been placed on suspension pending investigation.
The affected workers were said to have manipulated the IPPIS system to pad their salaries above their threshold.
An Assistant Director at the OAGF in charge of staff’ salary was alleged to have connived with some staff to pad up the salaries of unspecified number of lower grade level staff.
The scheme was reportedly discovered when a level 7 officer whose salary should be in the range of N60,000 was paid more than N400,000.
The salary padding racket was said to have been on for a while among a small clique of civil servants in different MDAs with the IPPIS office in the OAGF as the epicentre.