About N25 billion was spent on payment of April salaries of federal government workers before the Easter celebrations, Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Jonah Otunla, has said.
Speaking in Abuja while inaugurating the Nigerian Universities System Working Committee on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Otunla — who was represented by Mrs. Fatima Mede, the coordinator of IPPIS at the AGF’s office — disclosed that the amount was used to settle 254,000 staff in federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“There are 318 Federal Government MDAs currently enrolled on the IPPIS platform. These MDAs have combined staff strength of about 254,000,” Otunla told News Agency of Nigeria.
“In the month of April, we paid all these staff using the platform before the Easter holiday. A total sum of about N25 billion was paid as salaries to civil servants on the IPPIS.”
He further maintained that despite the success recorded in the integration of MDAs, it is important for other government organisations to join the platform for better management of government personnel.
“We are here because our universities, colleges of education and polytechnics are yet to come on board,” he said.
“When the staff of these institutions come on board, we believe that we can better manage salaries of our public institutions. We understand that the universities are sceptical about coming on board because they do not believe that the IPPIS, as it is today, can manage the complexities of our staffing system.”
According to him, the newly-inaugurated committee would examine ways of creating a system that would take the peculiarities of tertiary institutions into account, while also analysing existing payroll system to see how it could be leveraged on and integrated into the IPPIS for efficiency.
Prof. Suleiman Abdul, a representative of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), noted that it would be unrealistic to place all universities on one paying system.
“Every university has its own peculiarities. That is the beauty of our academic system. They hire and contract staff to fill in a vacancy as the need arises,” he said.
“So, a system that takes note of this and does not compromise the autonomy of the universities is the only kind that we will agree to be a part of.”
Dr. Tony Davis, the pioneer creator and consultant of the IPPIS, said the engagement with the committee was to brainstorm on ways to remodel the current IPPIS to suit the universities system.
The delegates inaugurated include are Prof. Sulieman Abdul, ASUU; Comrade Sunday Adefemi, Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU); Comrade Illiyss Bello, Senior Staff Association of the Nigerian Universities (SSANU); Mr. Adole Edward, the Federal Ministry of Finance; Mr Angbashun Elsie, Ministry of Education; and Mrs. Haruna Amos, National Universities Commission.