The discovery made by the Continuous Audit team of the Federal Government, Mohammed Dikwa, on Tuesday May 24, said about 43,000 ghost workers were discovered, as well as N50 billion was saved, through the audit of security agencies payroll so far.
The announcement made in Abuja by Mr. Dikwa, during a meeting between the Continuous Audit team, Minister of Finance and Head Para-Military agencies, says:
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“Since we started the continuous audit programme, we have saved about N50 billion and over 43,000 ghost workers have been removed from the payroll of the federal government.
“And as we go on, we are very sure that we will continue to reduce the cost of federal government payroll.
“Please note the cost is not related to ghost workers alone but with allowances which we believe have to be trimmed down so that we can manage the cost of governance.”
As ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, the CA team investigated the payroll of all Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
They had already embarked on the audit of the Military payroll and enrolling them on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Dikwa said officers from the account departments of all the para-militray agencies were currently undergoing training on IPPIS and the Government Management Information System (GIFMIS). The plan he said, was to have all the agencies enrolled on the IPPIS and GIFMIS at the end of the month once the training was completed.
Speaking on the new development, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the audit of the para-military payroll would focus mainly on non-regular allowances of security officers.
According to the Minister, the initial investigations had shown that these allowances had created avenues for unscrupulous persons within the system to steal money.
“The president has given the directive that all ministries and agencies of the Federal Government be enrolled on the IPPIS latest December, 2016.
“This meeting is to discuss the modalities of how this will be achieved; specifically, there are number of allowances described as the non-regular allowances.
“We have to make sure that these non-regular allowances are paid directly to those who are serving. And the best way to do that is through an automated system.
“This system will be linked to BVN so the money is going to specific individuals rather than being diverted elsewhere.
“Whoever is paid irregular allowances for hazard, risk or other extraneous factors, it is important that the money gets to them.
“The people taking the risk should be paid, otherwise the service they are expected to render will be in jeopardy.”
Adeosun explained that the benefits of using IPPIS was to end delays in payment of salaries and allowances of security personnel. She reassured members that the details gathered through the IPPIS would be kept safe so that identities of security operatives would not be compromised.