The Federal Government has intensified the fight against corruption through the enforcement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
This comes as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it has saved the government over N18 billion through the system.
“We’ve saved about N18 billion right now that we told the government, in the words of my chairman, ‘restrain the money,” said ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa.
Okoduwa, the Director of Public Enlightenment at the anti-graft agency, made the disclosure on Tuesday during her appearance onChannels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
She noted that some Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) that were not on IPPIS have been made to join the scheme as a result of the development.
The ICPC spokesperson stressed, “It is even more than N18 billion right now. The Ministry of Finance is capturing them now on IPPIS but their personnel expenditure alone, we’ve restrained over N18 billion.”
She recalled that the agency launched its System Study Review at the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ which held in Abuja on November 19.
The report, she noted, identified some health and education institutions as the worst culprits in padding budgets allocated to payment of personnel’s salaries.
Okoduwa highlighted a situation where the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Bayelsa had over N900 million as surplus in its salary purse.
She explained that the case was flagged while the management team of the centre was summoned to clarify the rationale behind the surplus uncovered.
The Worst Culprits
The ICPC official revealed that the team gave the excuse that the personnel cost was inflated in order to execute projects which the government could not approve for the FMC.
She said, “Within January to July, you are still having balances on your salaries, how come? Because ordinarily, you should have exhausted your salary if you paid everybody and nobody complained you didn’t pay them.
“How come all of a sudden you are having N30 million, N50 million left on your salary may be for a particular MDA? It shows you had padded your nominal roll ab initio and you have paid those who are actually on the ground.”
“For example, they’ve been drawing down on such monies and using them for travels when they are not supposed to use that.
“ICPC, in doing that, brought out the report that health institutions, universities… they are the worst culprits,” the stated.
Okoduwa stressed that the activities and functions of the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were not just backed by policies but rooted in law.
According to her, the system study conducted by ICPC is to follow up with institutions that fall in the partially-compliant and non-compliant categories to ensure there are noticeable changes.
The ICPC spokesperson said where such changes were not seen, the agency would impose a new system on erring individuals and agencies before the enforcement stage and make it criminal.
She added that the study has had effects on the MDAs as their heads and some ministers in other cases approached the ICPC on how to correct their wrongs.