54,000 Payroll Scams Uncovered With IPPIS – Monguno

ABUJA – Despite strong opposition from some quarters, National Security Adviser Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd) claims that since the federal government adopted the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) it has discovered at least 54,000 payroll scams.

Monguno intimated that the current administration won’t change its judgments on the use of IPPIS despite continued resistance from some sectors by stating that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) saves N4 billion per month which would have been stolen by corrupt individuals.

The NSA stated these at the headquarters of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja on Friday when he spoke during the National Policy Dialogue on corruption and insecurity in Nigeria organised by the research and training arm of ICPC.

He insisted that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is still committed to eliminating corruption in both the public and private sectors and that its anti-corruption campaign is still effective.

According to him, ”At this juncture, permit me to emphatically state that successive governments in Nigeria have over the years risen to the occasion through emplacements of various measures and policies as well as the establishment of statutory institutions such as the ICPC and EFCC to combat this problem.

”The anti-corruption stance of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is firmly anchored on his fore-mentioned assertion and it is vigorously being pursued across all spheres of governance including the private sector with appreciable outcomes.

”For instance, the dogged implementation of the Treasure Single Account (TSA) in which more than 90% of all Ministries Departments and Agencies of the federal government has resulted in the consolidation of more than 17,000 bank accounts previously spread across deposit money banks in the country, leading to monthly savings of about N4bn in bank charges.

”Furthermore, the expansion of coverage of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) against stiff opposition from some quarters and deployment of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) to validate federal government payroll on the IPPIS platform has led to the detection of almost 54,000 fraudulent payroll entries.

”The whistleblower policy has also facilitated the cleansing of IPPIS compliance on TSA and saving of huge sums of money. Meanwhile, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) in the discharge of its mandate was also the system anti-corruption agency to obtain forfeiture of assets suspected to have been fraudulently acquired from the state treasury before the culprits are prosecuted.”

For his part, Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, who presided over the event, claimed that the frightening wave of insecurity had scared off both domestic and foreign investors and had prevented Nigeria from benefiting from luring direct investments.

He, however, lauded the military for flushing and neutralizing insurgents and terrorists in states like Kaduna, Niger, and Zamfara in particular.

Lawan said: “Only recently, the president gave a marching order to the armed forces to extinguish bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal agents against the state and her citizens, by December. This administration is committed to achieving this set target.

“Accordingly, the past few weeks have seen security agencies flushing out terrorists from their hideouts in Kaduna Birnin-Gwari axis, Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto. Similar results were recorded in Niger, where, like in Kaduna, the Nigerian Airforce neutralized many terrorists.”

He said that the National Assembly would continually support the effort of the government to tackle insecurity in Nigeria and had ensured an improvement to annual appropriation for defense and security.

He said the legislature while looking into the possibility of unmasking the perpetrators of insecurity in Nigeria, realized the need for an anticorruption law to stop illicit financial flows suspected to be funding routes for insecurity in Nigeria.

“The eight assembly passed the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill, which is one of the major anti-corruption laws that saved the country from being expelled from the global body of the Egmont Group.

“In the same vein, the ninth assembly, working closely with security and law enforcement agencies to further strengthen their capacity to withstand unscrupulous elements involved in criminal and terrorist activities against the state, passed three bills.”

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Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji

Ogunsiji is a finesse Journalist, content developer, investigative journalist, and fact-checker. He is also a trained broadcaster with over a decade in the journalism profession. He is the editor of THE ENCOUNTER NEWS.

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