The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in a presentation made at a retreat on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
The Consolidated Revenue Fund is an account that is owned and managed by the Federal Government, where all its revenues are paid.
The event, which was organised by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, had as its theme, “The role of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the implementation of IPPIS and its effect on workers condition of service and government revenue.”
The IPPIS scheme, which commenced in 2007, is one of the Federal Government’s reform initiatives designed to centralise payroll and payment systems, facilitate convenient workers’ remuneration with minimal wastage, aid manpower training and budgeting.
It also facilitates planning, monitoring of the monthly payment of workers emoluments against what was provided for in the budget, ensures database integrity, facilitates easy storage, as well as updating and retrieval of personnel records for administrative and pension processes.
She described a situation where the 70 per cent of the Federal Government revenue was spent on recurrent as worrisome adding that if not corrected, it would not free the much-needed resources for improving the standard of living of the people.
She said that the concept of IPPIS was an integral part of the Federal Government’s public finance reform initiative aimed at ensuring transparency and reducing the cost of governance.
She said, “As part of the efforts of the present administration to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public funds, the Federal Ministry of Finance is also implementing other initiatives aimed at ensuring efficient management of the cost of governance especially the recurrent expenditure of yearly budgets.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, a reform initiative of the Federal Government, which aims at strengthening governance, accountability, reducing corruption and delivering services more effectively also plays an important role in the continued implementation of the IPPIS policy.
“It is expected that these reform initiatives will reduce the cost of governance. Presently, about 70 per cent of the monthly revenue inflow to the Consolidated Revenue Fund is being spent on recurrent expenditure; this trend will not free the much needed resources for improving our standard of living.
“The Federal Government is, however, determined to make life easier for the citizens despite the global economic challenges.”
The finance minister said through the successful execution of policies, projects and programmes enshrined in this year’s budget, massive jobs would be created.
She added that issues of insecurity, poverty and poor standard of living would be “faced squarely” through the implementation of programmes contained in the budget.
In his comments at the event, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, noted that between 2017 and 2018, the sum of N197bn was saved from the removal of ghost workers from the government payroll.
Giving a breakdown of the N197bn, Ahmed explained that the sum of N67bn was saved in 2017 while the balance of N130bn was saved in the 2018 fiscal period.
He said through the implementation of the IPPIS initiative, over 700,000 government workers from 515 MDAs were now on the IPPIS platform.
He also said that 39 Nigeria Police Commands and three formations, four para-military agencies and Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries had been added to the platform.
This, he stated, was against 285 MDAs with over 235,000 workers in 2015.
Ahmed said the initiative was aimed at reducing wastage in personnel cost, facilitating easy storage, updating of personnel record and aiding manpower planning and budgeting.
The AGF said the successes recorded so far in the scheme were due to the political will of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He gave some of the successes of the initiative to include planning for personnel budget, reduction of the ghost workers syndrome, and easy retrieval of personal records.
He gave some of the challenges of the implementation of the initiative to include institutional resistance, lack of commitment from MDAs , and delay in the enrolment process, among others.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, said that the introduction of the IPPIS had resulted in the reduction of the ghost workers’ syndrome, enforcement of compliance with due process on the employment of workers in the MDAs , and prompt and timely payment of salaries.
She said, “The IPPIS was introduced by the Federal Government in 2007 with a view to attaining transparency, accuracy and curtailing avoidable excesses in personnel costs.
“The payroll module has led to over N250bn being saved through the identification of ghost workers.
“Although the payroll platform was first introduced as a result of the urgent need to curtail ghost workers’ syndrome, it should, however, be noted that the personnel information is the basis for payrolling.”
By Ifeanyi Onuba