…Query Finance Minister, AGF
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives on Tuesday set up an enquiry into allegations that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, was riddled with fraud and irregularities which had led to the none payment of salaries and allowances of Federal Civil Servants.
The Public Accounts Committee of the House, initiated the inquest in the course of engaging tertiary institutions and other agencies on their financial audit reports for 2018-2019.
The Committee was alarmed that leakages and sharp practices were observed in the course of their earlier engagement, with other agencies, particularly, the J.S. Tarkar University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Wole Oke(PDP-Osun), gave the ruling while drilling the Rector of Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, Dr. Zubair Mustapha on the expenditure and financial audit reports of the tertiary institution, for the years 2018 and 2019.
The Rector of the school, told the Committee, that pending salaries for the years under review, were due to anomalies in the IPPIS, a salary payment system introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari government in 2017.
According to him, “The backlog of salaries, is from people, who were not captured by IPPIS”.
In a swift response, the Chairman, said: That’s why we must look into IPPIS. We were told here, that the salaries of personnel of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi(Benue State), went into accounts of staff of Jigawa State. IPPIS must be investigated, to detect some of the irregularities observed in the system. We have observed some serious irregularities in the system”.
The Committee, then resolved to write the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmad and the Accountant General of the Federation, to explain alleged sleaze, in the federal staff payment system.
A motion for the inquest on IPPIS, was raised by Rep. Ibrahim Abdullahi, a member representing Dutse/Kiyawa Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Besides, the PAC, also summoned the External Auditors of the accounts of Auchi Polytechnic, over discrepancies in the audited reports of the school, for 2018-2019.
The Committee,also rejected “audited” accounts for 2018-2019, from the Federal Polytechnic, Illaro, as presented by its Rector, Dr. Olusegun Aluko.
The Rector of the school, who claimed that the institution, generated only N1.91billion in 2019, however failed to give a detailed and technical breakdown of the expenditure of the money and audits of the accounts to boot.
Representatives of the Office of the Auditor of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine at the investigative session, also strongly rejected his presentation before the Committee.
Consecuntly, the Committee placed the Institution on status of enquiry in order to determine it’s financial status.