Fg Deletes 23,846 Non-existent Workers From Payroll, Saves N2.293bn
BEVERLY HILLS, February 28, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government, through the ongoing BVN-based staff audit and enrolment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), has removed 23,846 non-existent workers from its payroll thereby reducing the salary bill for February 2016 by N2.293 billion.
According to the Federal Ministry of Finance, the figure represents a percentage of the number of non-existent workers who had hitherto been receiving salary from various ministries, departments and agencies adding that investigations of other suspected cases would continue in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Reports indicate that the government is also taking actions to pursue recovery of salary balances in bank accounts as well as any pension contributions in respect of the deleted workers which involves active collaboration with the concerned banks and the National Pension Commission (Pencom).
The Ministry noted that the Military Pension Board has revised the amount payable for its due pension contributions on a monthly basis by N575m, following its annual verification exercise for military retirees reducing the number of pensioners by 19,203 as a result of deaths since the last verification exercise in 2012.
Due to the fact that personnel costs represent over 40 per cent of total government expenditure, the Ministry explained that government would continue to strengthen its payroll controls and plans to undertake periodic checks using Computer Assisted Audit Techniques under its new Continuous Audit Programme to ensure that all payments are accurate and valid.
Requirements for new entrants joining the Federal Civil Service have also been enhanced to prevent the introduction of fictitious employees in future.
The ongoing exercise, which is part of the cost-saving and anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, is key to funding the deficit in the 2016 budget, as savings made will ultimately reduce the amount to be borrowed.
However, reacting to the recent call by the leadership of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) that the panel members investigating the cases of indicted civil servants be drawn from both government and labour, the Ministry explained that the request could not be acceded to, as the investigations were of a criminal nature and would therefore be handled by the appropriate investigative agencies.
Story by David Oputah