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Monday, 29 February 2016

FG saves N2.2bn monthly, weeds 23,846 ghosts

The ministry of finance says it has saved the federal government N2.293 billion by weeding out 23,846 ghost workers in the month of February alone.
Using the bank verification number-based staff audit and enrolment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the federal government says the salary bill for February 2016 has reduced by N2.293 billion when compared to December 2015, when the BVN audit process commenced.
In a statement signed by Festus Akanbi, special assistant to the minister of finance, the ministry further explained that the investigation of other suspected cases continues in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is ongoing.
“The Federal Government is also taking actions to pursue recovery of salary balances in bank accounts as well as any pension contributions in respect of the deleted workers,” the statement read.
“This involves active collaboration with the concerned banks and the National Pension Commission (Pencom).”
The ministry added that the military pension board has revised the amount payable for its due pension contributions on a monthly basis by N575m, following its annual verification exercise for military retirees.
“This reduced the number of pensioners by 19,203 as a result of deaths since the last verification exercise in 2012,” he said.
“The Federal Government, in its efforts to reduce personnel cost, is determined to continue the verification programme on a regular periodic basis.”
Due to the fact that personnel costs represent over 40 per cent of total government expenditure, the ministry explained that the government would continue to strengthen its payroll controls.
“It plans to undertake periodic checks and to utilise Computer Assisted Audit Techniques under its new Continuous Audit Programme. This will ensure that all payments are accurate and valid,” Akanbi said.
“Requirements for new entrants joining the Federal Civil Service have also been enhanced to prevent the introduction of fictitious employees in future.
“The ongoing exercise, which is part of the cost-saving and anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, is key to funding the deficit in the 2016 budget, as savings made will ultimately reduce the amount to be borrowed.”
With the adoption of the BVN platform to audit and sanitise the salary payment system, the ministry said it has so far checked the details of about 312,000 civil servants currently enrolled on IPPIS.
This, according to the finance ministry has led to the discovery of a high level of irregularities in salary payment.
In some instances, the exercise was said to have shown that the names of some civil servants whose salaries are being processed are not consistent with the names linked to the accounts into which their salaries are paid.
Individuals in this category are, therefore, either receiving salary payments from multiple sources (which could be different parastatals for example), or they are non-existent workers, the ministry explained.

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