Buhari’s economic blueprint does not address Nigerians’ needs — Bill Gates

The present economic templates being used by the Muhammadu Buhari government do not have the ability to address the unique needs of Nigerians at present, American business magnate, Bill Gates, has said.

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The philanthropist and founder of Microsoft corporation however said Nigeria has the ability to approach ‘upper middle-income status’ like Brazil, China and Mexico, but added that achieving this status depends on ”the choice Nigerian leaders make”.

Mr. Gates, at the special and expanded National Economic Council, held in Abuja on Thursday tasked Nigerian leaders to sincerely invest in not just infrastructural development but also human investment.

The theme of the meeting was “Role of human capital investment in supporting pro-poor and economic growth agenda”.

The investor said though Nigeria is rapidly approaching upper- middle income status, the country has ”unmatched economic potential and what becomes of that potential depends on the choice Nigerian leaders makes”.

He said the Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identifies “investing in our people” as one of three “strategic objectives”.

But the “execution priorities” do not fully reflect people’s needs, ”prioritising physical capital over human capital”, he said.

“To anchor the economy over the long term, investments in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investment in people. People without roads ports and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari on assumption of office had unveiled a four-year ERGP (2017-2020) to help propel the country towards the path of development and growth.

ERGP is an economic plan that builds on the 2016 Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), a short term plan aimed at tackling corruption, improving security and rebuilding the nation’s economy.

ERGP seeks to build on the SIP by restoring growth, investing in people and build a global competitive economy.

Mr. Gates said the most important choice Nigerian leaders can make is ”to maximise the country’s greatest resource, which is the people”.

He said Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive.

“If you invest in their health, education, and opportunities- the human capital we are talking about today, then they will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity. If you don’t, however, then it is very important to recognise that there will be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow,” he said.

According to author, Nigeria’s government revenue as a percentage of its GDP is by far the lowest in the world, at 6 per cent and this makes the government investment in Nigerians difficult.

“The next lowest country, Bangladesh collects 10 per cent of its GDP. If you got yourself up to second to the last in the world, you would have an extra $18 billion to budget. Obviously, you are aiming higher, but it gives you some idea about the scale we are talking about.

“We want to support you in your work to mobilise resources to invest in your country and I urge you to rethink your investment on Nigerian people,” he said.

Speaking, Nigerian billionaire business man, Aliko Dangote said for the next generation to thrive as adults and drive the economic progress, ”the government need to invest in their health and wellbeing”.

“The government need to invest in the youth’s ability to learn and apply new skills in an ever changing global economy. That at its core, is what we mean by human capital; healthy and productive and well-educated young people who are then enabled to succeed, lift up themselves and their families, and contribute to the society through their own ingenuity.

REDAN to publicise real estate data to boost affordable housing Estate

By Ella Anokam

Abuja,

The Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) says it will publicise the outcome of the national land administration, off-takers affordability and household condition survey in April to enhance housing sector.

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Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, National President of REDAN, made this known at his investiture as the fifth REDAN President in Abuja.

The Professional said that REDAN would enhance and sustain the data collation, under the auspices of the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP) to boost affordable housing.


Housing News Abuja Correspondent reports that NRE-DCMP was initiated by REDAN and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to collate property price index nationwide to solve year-long housing problems in the country.

Chime noted that the data would enable appropriate planning and fore-casting to take place, saying that justification of intervention by the government would also be elicited.

The Surveyor said that the data to be publicised was collated from the national land administrators on pre-construction, construction and post construction activities within each state and FCT.

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“Data will also emerge from developers profile and capacity, demand and affordability profile of the market within a given locality and household condition survey.

“We shall further the work we initiated with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company, and Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders to ensure ease of doing real estate business.

“It will make home ownership accessible and affordable while expecting cooperation from policy makers and other agencies,’’ the expert said.

The national president noted that the pledge was borne out of the desire to see housing playing role of being source of economic empowerment for the citizens through employment generation.

According to him, the future of socio-economic development in Nigeria is tied to how the association articulate, propound and propel strategies that will unlock the huge potential in the industry.

He thanked all the founding fathers, who had been laboring and their successors to see that the paradigm shift in home ownership approach.

Chime said that the association needed service providers like lawyers, surveyors, town planners, estate valuers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, builders, marketers and media practitioners.

This collaboration, he said, would ensure that the multidimensional and multidisciplinary demands of the real estate industry were effectively actualised.

“The fifth executive will strive to position itself to ensure formidable discharge of its mundane responsibilities in areas of housing advocacy and standardisation of products and services.

Chime noted that he would consolidate and enhance the laudable agenda setting and advocacy efforts of his predecessors.

The work of re-engineering and improving the internal mechanism and processes of REDAN to reposition its service and housing delivery was on course.

Chief Olabode Afolayan, former REDAN National President, also noted that for its mandate of meeting housing needs to be achieved, strong partnership and cooperation were needed with stakeholders.

Afolayan commended those who had achieved a milestone in the housing sector by delivering housing units for the benefit of the masses.

FG to Sustain Partnership With Private Sector on National Housing Policy- Minister

The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Surv, Suleiman Zarma has said that the Federal Government will continue to encourage the organized private sector and development partners within and abroad to invest in Nigeria’s housing market in view of its viable and enormous potential. He stated this at the 2nd Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) Building Expo in Abuja. The Minister said, ‘’the present administration has demonstrated commitment and will sustain partnership with the private sector towards the full realization of the National Housing Policy which places emphasis on private sector driven housing delivery’’. He added that budgetary allocations were being consistently provided in the fiscal years to guarantee effective collaboration with contractors for housing delivery across the country.

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The Minister commended the effort of REDAN for organizing the Expo, stating that the organized private sector is not only heeding the call by government for close collaboration in addressing the housing challenges but also taking the lead in doing so. Suleiman explained that the emergence of the on- going National Housing Programme in each state of the federation was part of the administration’s determination to provide shelter and affordable housing to Nigerians, adding that other housing programmes such as the Mass Housing under the prototype housing scheme and the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme were other strategic housing programmes embarked by the administration to bridge the housing deficit in the country.

President of REDAN, Rev Ugochukwu Chime said the main thrust of the Build Expo is to ‘’further enunciate to stakeholders the essence of collaboration to upscale the real estate and housing sector of the Nigerian economy’’. He observed that the bane of the sector has been the unarticulated and individualistic efforts which produces insignificant results to change the expected momentum Nigerians desire. According to him, ‘’housing is no more about providing shelter, it is now a veritable tool for employment generation, inclusive economic growth and fulcrum to reversing economic downturn in most climes’’, adding that it is the engine of growth that propels development. In his keynote address, Professor Timothy Nubi, Director, Centre for Housing Studies of the University of Lagos restated the need for collaboration amongst stakeholders in the housing sector and also with the government.

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He said stakeholders must understand the real estate development value chain processes which includes: site generation, development appraisal, development research and design, arranging development finance, building contract, construction management and disposal of finished houses, adding that the processes can produce over 250 ancillary industries. He identified collaboration at all levels as the major driving force and advised government to create enabling environment to guarantee the desired impact.

Housing Award: REDAN honours Jakande, Mabogunje, Foundation, others

The Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has honoured Dr Lateef Jakande, Prof. Akin Mabogunje and many others for their immense contributions in the housing sector.

The merit award was given to 16 developers in the sector on the sideline of the fifth investiture of REDAN re-elected President, Rev Ugochukwu Chime and the Executive members in Abuja.

Jakande, pioneer President of REDAN, Mabogunje, former Chairman, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Technical Board and Chief Guy Okechukwu, REDAN former Secretary General were honoured for their sacrificial role and commitment in the sector.

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Among the 16 award recipients were Millard Fuller Foundation, FMBN, FHA, Ekiti state Housing Cooperation, Ebonyi state Housing Cooperation, JEDO Investment Ltd., COPEN Group Estate, CITEC Estate Ltd. and Shelter Initiative Ltd.

Chime said that the award was aimed at encouraging real estate developers unto more inventiveness, diligence, resourcefulness and perseverance in the industry.

According to the president, the awardees have successfully completed their estates and fully repaid the Estate Development Loan (EDL) they took from FMBN.

“The merit award is aimed at appreciating the developers for of their innovation and demonstration of viability of affordable housing initiative.

“The challenges hindering a seamless interface of and smooth transaction on the housing value chain has been identified and will be dealt with progressively.

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“Issues of data, finance, land administration, monitoring and compliance with extant laws and best practice among others are top on our priority list,’’ the professional said.

In response, Dr Sam Odia, Managing Director, Millard Fuller Foundation, one of the awardees, thanked the new REDAN management on the honour bestowed on them.

Odia said that his passion and effort in Providing affordable housing in Nigeria would continue till all homeless Nigerian became home owners.

The foundation, a faith based organisation, is known for its quest in providing affordable housing units for low income earners.

Eulogies, assurances as Rev Chime gets REDAN’s highest honor

His leadership antecedents assures of his capabilities – Investiture Committee
How we will provide multiple homes for Nigerians, by Rev Chime
The Nigerian built environment received a major boost on Wednesday as stakeholders of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and other individual and institutional stakeholders of the industry bestowed multiple votes of confidence on the leadership of the fifth executive members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), headed by an astute professional, Rev Ugochukwu Chime who was recently elected into office as the fifth President of the association.

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The investiture ceremony which was chaired by a former Minister of Lands and Housing, Ms Amal Pepple doubles as the 2018 Awards Presentation Ceremony of the association where successful real estate developers were honored for the ability to pay back Estate Development Loans (EDL) disbursed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Investiture Committee, Dr. Aliyu Wamako who described the ascendancy of Rev Ugochukwu Chime to the presidency of REDAN as a plus for the association, described Chime as a man who has built a track record of excellent leadership performances stating that he is “a development icon of the Nigerian building industry.”

According to Wamako, “Chime’s leadership will take REDAN to greater heights.”

The immediate past President of REDAN, Chief Bode Afolanyan who was in consonance with the investiture committee recalled that the founding of REDAN in 20013 was to facilitate provision of affordable houses to Nigerians adding that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) must be recapitalised in order to reposition it for effective service to Nigerians.

President of REDAN, Rev. Ugochukwu Chime who warmly welcomed the guests assured that the fifth executives of REDAN will device new strategies that will lead to the greater realisation of objectives.

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Recalling the efforts that led to the founding of REDAN, rev Chime said: “I am particularly enthused because the journey which started in 2002 by the thoughts of the Board of the Presidential Technical Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria led by Prof. Akin Mabogunje at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, has become a colossus,” adding that the teething problem of defining and acceptance of the crucial role and responsibilities of real estate developer is gradually dawning on all real estate developers.

“We want to use this medium to thank all the founding fathers who labored; and their successors who are laboring to ensure that the paradigm shift in home ownership approach from using savings, equity to own a house, to use of mortgage is clearly understood by all stakeholders and entrenched in the socio economic planning, laws, policies and processes of housing development in Nigeria.

“This is becoming well rooted in the annals of the country’s policy and real estate business decisions,” he said adding that real estate development is an entrepreneurial endeavor aimed at producing quality and affordable housing.”

“The entrepreneurs are managers of the diverse interests of stakeholders in the housing product value chain and first port of call for investors and citizens who need mass and service providers.”

“The fifth Executive Council of REDAN which I shall preside over, will strive to position itself to ensure formidable discharge of its mundane responsibilities in areas of housing advocacy and standardization of products and services.”

He said his administration will consolidate on the achievements of visionary leaders such as Lateef Jakande who have worked hard to ensure provision of homes to Nigerians, adding that the warm hand of fellowship extended to the association by diverse public and private sector organizations will be strengthened and serve as building block to ensure that Nigerians reap the benefits of accelerated and inclusive real estate development.

CALLING FOR ENTRIES……ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW 2018

The organizers of Abujahousingshow will be highlighting housing successes across Nigeria at this year’s 12th Abuja International Housing Show.

I invite and encourage all stakeholders in the Real Estate Industry to send in their stories – including photos and videos too. This is a unique opportunity to showcase your housing success and share your strategies with Lenders, foreign investors, industry colleagues and policy makers.

Are you a Non-Profit or NGO that has assisted an exemplary special needs housing project? Are you a Mortgage Bank that assisted a family overcome substantial obstacles to purchase their first home? Are you a Federal or State Agency that has an effective strategy for housing homeless Nigerians? Are you a State Housing Finance Agency whose repossession intervention / prevention program changed the life of individuals or families? Are you a Professional Association that has created a working partnership that could be a model for other Advocacy Groups? Do you do an excellent job of showcasing and marketing your NHF success stories? Have NHF FUNDS impacted the life of a local family?

If so, email your housing success stories to Abujahousingshow at abujahousingshow@gmail.com by May 31st, 2018.

Your story / project could be listed on our website and featured during the four day conference……..

NBA Threatens Mass Action Over Lagos Land Use Charge

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, says it rejects the 50 per cent reduction of the levies under the recently reviewed Land Use charge

Consequently, the lawyers have threatened to go on another round of protest if nothing is done.

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The NBA Chairman, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, told a media briefing on Wednesday that the reduction “is a sham and a calculated ploy to hoodwink the people of Lagos State”.

“The rates are a fraud and farce, ” he said.

Ogunlana claimed that there was no proper evaluation of properties in the state and that property owners were unaware of it or involved in any evaluation of their properties.

“When the government says it is slashing cost, they are only deceiving people; the amounts reduced are mere fantasies of their imagination.”

He also said the NBA objected to the House of Assembly’s setting up of a committee to review the Land Use Charge 2018.

Ogunlana urged Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to prevail on the House to call a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the legislation which must be accompanied by a draft sent to stakeholders ahead of the hearing.

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“If Ambode wants to do a thorough and clean job, he should publish the proposed amendments through the media and give no less than a month for its study by concerned bodies before the public hearing takes place.”

The NBA had on March 13, stages a protest tagged, ” Walk The Talk” which in solidarity, was supported by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), civil society bodies and professionals.
Others are the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Joint Action Front (JAF) and the Human and Environmental Agenda (HEDA)

The protest which lasted about three hours, was meant to kick against the Land Use Charge Law 2018, excessive litigation cost, borehole tax, car registration tax of the Lagos State Government.

Ogunlana said: “The people of Lagos are not against increase in taxation, but the Land Use Charge, high litigation cost, borehole levies and car registration law 2018; they must be repealed because they are oppressive and illegal.

“If by Thursday, March 29, the Lagos State Government fails to positively consider our position, the NBA Ikeja branch shall embark on another protest.”

Town planners advise Lagos on drainage masterplan

With the rainy season fast approaching and given the perenial flooding in Lagos,especially in settlements along the coastline, consultants and town planners have called on the state government to revisit its drainage masterplan put in place a few years ago.

However, three year ago, the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment developed a drainage master plan as part of proactive measures to tackle the menace of flooding in the entire state. The plan was in partnership with Dar Al-Handasah Consultants, with headquarters in Beirut.

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The government embarked on the project to eliminate flooding in the state, especially with global climate change and its ravaging impact being witnessed across the globe. Besides, it was also as a reaction to the heavy rainfalls witnessed in recent years, which is an indication that some areas in the state may be submerged by flood if drastic measures were not put in place. Hence, the need for a well planned storm water drainage system to eliminate flooding and improve the efficiency of the land use.

At a lecture titled: Planning For Infrastructure in Lagos Mega City, held by the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria’s (ATOPCON) as part of its 2018 Annual General Meeting in Lagos, stakeholders emphasised the need for the urgent review of the masterplan. The lecture was delivered by Olajide Dosunmu, an engineer.

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Reacting to the lecture, former president, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Dr. Ajayi Bunmi, rued the neglect of a drainage masterplan of the state which was commissioned during the regime of a military governor of Lagos State, Brig. Gen. (rtd.) Mobolaji Johnson. Bunmi said the state would do itself much good if it can revisit this document, review same and implement.

A former Commissioner in the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Francisco Abosede, warned of the consequences of not having a drainage master plan in the state, especially along Lekki-Ajah axis.

Abosede, who said he “foresees a disaster along Lekki corridor because there is no visible drainage master plan,” urged the state government to as a matter of urgency, take on the old plan, review it, before considering new plans for the developing settlements in the state. Besides, he charged the state’s planning authority to always make adequate plan for waste water, warning that not having waste water plan portends danger for a mega city like Lagos.

President of ATOPCON, Mr. Idris Salako a Town Planner, reiterated the importance of a town planner as critical in advancing the goals of infrastructural development, which he reckons to be the cornerstone of sustainable development.

“You could say that planning for infrastructure is the primary foundation in urban development, including communication, energy and transport. But any weakening voice in advancing the goals of infrastructural development could only be a weakening of sustainable urban development,” he warned.

The immediate past chairman of Lagos ATOPCON, Omotayo Awomosu, noted that town planning could not be divorced from its operating environment. He, therefore, called for enactment of a new planning regulations to fill the void created since 2010 when the state government repealed the previous planning regulations.

According to him, a more efficient planning permit system is needed in Lagos. “This should be one that delivers development permits at the shortest possible time and lowest cost to applicants, as the current system does not guarantee this in spite of the ongoing ease of doing business campaign in the state,” Awomosu said.

He further explained that “the proposed electronic planning permit system should cut through the existing bureaucracy and not just move the existing inefficient manual process into the digital space,” while also advocating that all the necessary resources needed to automate the planning permit system such as enterprise/web bases, GIS and adequate base maps must be provided to make the new platform workable and responsive to the needs of the users.

Awomosu said: “Lagos State deserves a more democratic planning system. The current system is top-down, and the various gaps in policy and practice promote discretionary practices and hence, arbitrariness.”

He noted that the state government, having prepared plans for most of the districts under the Lagos Megacity Model Plans, should also prepare master plans for the entire city. “It is also necessary to emphasise the preparation of local plans for the different communities and neighbourhoods across the state,” Awomosu added.

The Chief Executive Officer of an infrastructure development company, Noble Sovrano Limited, Mr. Olajide Dosunmu, who spoke on Planning for infrastructure in Lagos megacity, said the state government must realise that the status of a megacity required an all-inclusive growth.

“Municipal infrastructure such as holistic transportation plan, Information Technology and recreation are extremely necessary for an all-inclusive growth,” he stated.

Dosunmu charged the state government to develop wastewater treatment plants and ensure that they are efficiently utilised to achieve zero tolerance for environmental pollution from homes and industries.

El-Rufai builds 600 housing units in Kaduna Millennium City

Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, on Wednesday, performed the ground breaking ceremony of 600 housing units and a world class shopping mall in Kaduna.

The governor, while laying the blocks in Kaduna Millennium City, said that the investment was a Public Private Partnership anchored by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, KADIPA.

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He said that all the APC governors were trying to reduce housing deficit, hence the need for the low and medium housing projects.

According to Mr El-Rufai, government would provide infrastructure such as water, electricity and police post among others at the project site.

“I want to appeal to the communities to cooperate with the developers because every development creates job for people residing there,” he stated.

The governor assured the developers of government effort to protect their interest by deploying security agencies to the communities.

“We hope within the next one year, we will return to commission these projects, even though we have been assured that the shopping mall would be completed by June’’.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, KADIPA, Umma Aboki, said government was confident that the developers have the capacity to deliver 3, 000 houses in the next five years.

“In a similar vein, we are vigorously working with developers of market and neighbourhood centres to improve the shopping experience of Kaduna residents in ensuring that all our markets are properly planned with ample access and exit points.

“At KADIPA, we are committed to providing first class service and an enabling environment to support serious investors in this and many other priority sectors,” she emphasised.

Mrs Aboki assured investors that the government has put in place measures for ease of doing business.

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“We are committed to ensuring that the times taken to start businesses are reduced to the barest minimum through streamlining of all processes and removing bottle necks at all levels.”

Housing News Kaduna correspondent reports that the ground breaking ceremony was performed at four locations with different partners expected to invest in separate projects.

Fed Govt releases N1.248tr for capital projects

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun yesterday said N1.248 trillion had been released for capital projects under the 2017 Budget.

She spoke with State House reporters at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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She was with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

She said: “The final update I gave was the level of capital releases till date from 2017 and l gave details of the big four areas and then others. So, power, works and housing got N301.89 billion, defence N151.2 billion, agriculture N119.9 billion, transport N127.9 billion and other ares combined is N545.6 billion. So the total capital budget release for 2017 so far is N1.248,310 trillion.


“We haven’t closed yet. We are confident we will close the year roughly around where we closed last year. We will close around N1.3 trillion mark.

“So, our commitment to infrastructure spending remains very strong. That is what is going to drive growth of the economy. That is what is going to drive jobs.”

Adeosun, who briefed Council on the scorecard of her ministry, also disclosed that the Federal Government has recovered N7.8 billion, $378 million, and 27,800 pounds through whistle blower policy.

She said the government also intends to institutionalise the whistle blower policy in order to properly handle its increasing magnitude.

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Stressing that the Ministry got 28 approvals during the period, she said the Federal Government has saved N68 billion on personnel cost in 2017.

She said: “This brings the aggregate savings by the government on personnel cost since 2007 to date to N288 billion.”

According to her, the funds, which is now free for the government to fund capital projects, would have gone unaccounted for.

The savings, she said, were achieved despite increased in personnel, including the employment of 10,000 by the Nigerian Police.

She confirmed that a total of 511 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had been captured under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), with staff count of 607,843.

She said: “As at March 20, 2018 the number of MDAs on IPPIS Payroll is 469 with 316,158 staff count with gross salary of N43,979,383,997.78 and 42 Police Commands and Formations paid on IPPIS Platform in February, 2018 with staff count of 291,685 and gross salary of N22,276,669,257.21.

“Staff of para-military agencies (Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prison Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps) enrolled to date is 100,822 for which a trial payroll of N11,456,278,859.00 have been sent for review and update for April, 2018 payroll.”

The introduction of the IPPIS, she said, had resulted in the reduction of ghost workers, enforcement of compliance with due process on employment of staff in MDAs, and prompt and timely payment of salaries and remittances of third parties payments.

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