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FG Overpays N196bn as Personnel Costs to 450 MDAs

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  • FG Overpays N196bn as Personnel Costs to 450 MDAs

Despite the introduction of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System to effectively manage the payment of the Federal Government workers’ salaries, the government is still incurring unnecessary personnel costs, IFEANYI ONUBA writes

A total of N195.94bn was overpaid as personnel costs to 450 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

Details of the overpayment, which were discovered by the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Anthony Ayine, were captured in the 2016 annual audit report prepared by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.

The 2016 audit report, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, is the latest to have been prepared by the OAGF for all the MDAs.

The report was submitted to the National Assembly in June this year through a letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly, with reference, C/AR.2016/CONF/VOL.1/01.

The IPPIS, which began in 2007 with seven MDAs, is one of the Federal Government’s public finance reforms aimed at determining the actual strength of its workers and help with budgeting and annual planning.

It is designed to undertake human resources management activities from recruitment to separation, payroll and pension processing.

It also aims at facilitating planning, aids budgeting, monitors monthly payment of staff emoluments against what is provided for in the budget as well as ensure database integrity for administrative and pension processes.

But the auditor-general stated in the report that a review of funds released by the Funds Department in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to the IPPIS showed anomalies in respect of the salaries paid out under the scheme.

For instance, the report noted that it was observed that while the IPPIS had a total of N457.3bn as actual performance for personnel costs in respect of the 450 MDAs, the amount released by the Funds Department in the OAGF showed N421.28bn in favour of the MDAs, thereby showing a variance of N36.03bn.

It stated that when explanations were sought from the OAGF based on the observation by auditors, the adjustments presented by the accountant-general resulted in an “irregular balance of N656.43bn being presented to us as the amount released by the IPPIS, meaning an over funding of the IPPIS by N195.94bn out of N460.49bn stated as the amount paid.”

Ayine added that his office was “unable to verify the accuracy of these balances.”

The report explained that instances of the IPPIS paying more than the amount released by the Funds Department in the OAGF and extra-budgetary expenditure showed weakness in budgeting and in accounting for expenditure.

The report also stated that there were lapses in budgetary provisions for salaries and wages.

For instance, it noted that the actual personnel costs of some MDAs for the 2016 fiscal year when compared with personnel cost budget revealed extra budgetary expenditure of N408.7bn.

Giving an analysis of the extra budgetary expenditure, the report stated that for the MDAs under the administrative sector, the sum of N37.27bn was approved for them.

However, it noted that the MDAs incurred a total of N55.41bn as actual personnel cost, thus resulting in extra budgetary spending of N18.14bn.

For the MDAs in the economic sector, the report stated that they were given budgetary approval of N165bn but ended up spending N517.72bn thus, leading to excess expenditure of N362.7bn.

In the same vein, the MDAs under the law and justice sector got budgetary approval for N710.05m but spent N13.96bn, resulting in over-spending of N13.25bn.

It added that while the social sector MDAs got budgetary approval for N94.65bn, they ended up incurring personnel costs of N119.24bn. This, it noted, led to excess spending of N24.59bn during the 2016 fiscal period.

The report read in part, “During the examination of salaries and wages component of the Statement of Financial Performance, the following observations were made.

“The actual personnel cost of some MDAs for the year 2016, when compared with the personnel cost budget, revealed extra budgetary expenditure of N408,708,433,835.25.

“It was also observed that 12 MDAs had actual personnel cost for the financial year without any approved budget, which resulted in seeming extra budgetary expenditure of N6,049,260,633.08.”

The 12 MDAs that incurred personnel costs without budgetary approval are Military Pension Board, N2.08m; Foreign Mission (Tel Aviv Christian Pilgrims), N143.68m; Permanent Mission Caracas, N54.54m; and Permanent Mission of D-8 Secretariat in Turkey, N60.58m.

Others are Consular Mission in Cameroon, N35.94m; Police Pension Board, N41.88m; Public Complaints Commission, N2.79bn; Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms, N5m; and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, N11.46m.

Similarly, the Transmission Company of Nigeria paid the sum of N129.2m as salaries without budgetary approval; while the Kaduna Polytechnic and Institute of Child Health in Benin paid N2.76bn and N195,000 as salaries without approval, respectively.

“Some of the figures were not credible. For example, FAAN shows personnel costs for the year of N11,461,159.02; the Military Pension Board shows N2,088,000; while the Institute of Child Health shows N195,000,” the report added.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, had in a bid to reduce the wage bill of the government, issued a warning to the chief executives of all the MDAs against inflating their personnel budgets for the 2019 fiscal period.

The warning was contained in the 2019 Personnel Budget Call Circular issued and personally signed by the minister, with reference BD/2000/EXP/S.651.

The minister said since the Federal Government had commenced the preparation of the 2019 budget for personnel costs, it had become imperative to issue the circular in order to provide special instructions.

The special instructions, he stated, was issued to all senior officials of government agencies who were charged with the responsibility for the preparation and submission of their personnel budgets.

Udoma said it had also become necessary to commence the preparation of the 2019 personnel cost budget early in order to ensure adequate budgetary provisions for personnel cost.

To guard against the insertion of extraneous items, the minister said the payroll templates for all MDAs had been prepared using applicable salary structures as approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

He emphasised that payment of salaries and allowances was for members of staff only, noting that “any extraneous payments from personnel costs will attract appropriate sanctions.”

The circular added, “The payroll templates for all MDAs have been prepared using applicable salary structures as approved by the NSIWC.

“The MDAs should note that payment of salaries and allowances is for legitimate staff only. Any unauthorised payments from personnel costs will attract appropriate sanctions.

“Therefore, you are required to complete the personnel template in line with extant rules and regulations. Only persons employed in the public service of the federation should be on the nominal roll.”

He added, “Staff due for retirement as of December 31, 2018 should not be included in the nominal roll.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Emefiele Pledges Accommodative Monetary Policy to Boost Economic Growth

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Godwin Emefile

Emefiele Pledges Accommodative Monetary Policy to Boost Economic Growth

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has pledged to adopt accommodative monetary policy stance in 2021 in order to support economic growth in the country.

Emefiele, said this on Friday, while speaking at a CBN/Bankers’ Committee’s initiative for economic growth, which is a one-day special summit on the economy by bank chief executive officers.

The theme of the summit is: “How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Recession.”

Nigeria’s economy recently came out of recession, according to the Gross Domestic Product report for fourth quarter 2020 released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Owing to the slump GDP growth of 0.11 per cent that lifted the economy out of recession, Emefiele said it was imperative that, “we do all we can in 2021 and beyond to ensure that we build on the positive momentum and strengthen our efforts at stimulating growth.”

He expressed optimism that with the discovery and deployment of vaccines worldwide, 2021 would be a year of massive global recovery and Nigeria must not be left out.

“The banks CEOs are here, whether by moral suasion or by force, they will have to participate in this journey. In order to drive and sustain this recovery therefore, we need to sustain the accommodative fiscal and monetary policy measures aimed at improving access to finance for households and businesses.

“Secondly, we must prevent a resurgence in Covid-19 related cases. Thirdly, we must ensure that a significant number of our population is significantly vaccinated and also improve foreign exchange inflows into our country,” he added.

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Banking Sector

CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

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micro-finance-bank

CIT Microfinance Bank Disburses Over N16bn Loans

CIT Microfinance Bank Limited says it has disbursed about N16bn loans since it commenced operations as part of its contributions to the financial sector and empowerment of businesses.

The Managing Director of the microfinance bank, Mr Kingsley Eremionkhale, disclosed this during the company’s 10th anniversary in Lagos recently.

He reiterated that the bank was committed to supporting the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises in the country.

“Since inception, we have disbursed loans worth about N16bn. Our operation is not just about profit-making, but we have impacted many lives, empowered many businesses, and done a lot in terms of our core mandate as a microfinance bank.”

While appreciating its customers who had been loyal to it for years, he said it was concerned about their business success.

The managing director said, “We are part of our customers’ businesses. We provide services beyond lending and savings products and we also give financial advisory services.”

He appreciated the customers who had stayed with the financial institution for many years.

The managing director noted that the MfB is a state-licensed bank operating in Lagos, and a subsidiary of Capitalfield Investment Group.

He also attributed the success of the MfB to the board of directors which it said had been supportive, the management team and its workforce in the past 10 years.

While saying that the bank could lay claims to exponential growth, he said the public should expect more from it.

He also said that it was driving its operations through its digital offerings and our e-channels, to improve its services to our customers.

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Finance

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

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FMDQ

FMDQ Approves Valency Agro’s N5.12bn Commercial Paper

FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited has announced the approval of the quotation of the Valency Agro Nigeria Limited N5.12bn Series 1 Commercial Paper under its N20bn CP Programme on its platform.

The Exchange said in fostering the development of the Nigerian debt capital markets, it had continued to avail its credible and efficient platform as well as tailor its listings and quotations services to suit the needs of issuers and registration members through innovative and uninterrupted service delivery.

It said in a statement on Thursday that the Valency Agro Nigeria CP debut issue came at a time when the Nigerian economy was bedeviled with soaring food prices, amidst compounding challenges of insecurity.

It said the agricultural sector and its attendant transformation agenda had never been more important in driving increased and sustainable production of agricultural products as well as the derived foreign earnings through exports.

The Exchange said the proceeds from the issue of the CP would be applied by Valency Agro towards meeting the mid-term working capital requirements of the various agricultural produce under its portfolio such as cashew, sesame, cocoa and in value addition prior to export.

The Executive Director, Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mr Sumit Jain, was quoted as saying, “We are thankful to our investors towards showing their faith in our agenda to grow the agriculture-focused business with a clear aim to maximise value addition and create employment opportunities in Nigeria.

“We would also like to commend the efforts made by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited’s team to build the reach and FMDQ for their unconditional support for the industry”.

The Head, Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mr Oluseun Olatidoye, said, “FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is delighted with the successful debut of the N5.12bn Series 1 CP issued by Valency Agro Nigeria Limited. This reiterates our effort to enable underserved sectors access the debt markets, optimise their capital structure and further deepen the domestic capital markets.

“We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction and appreciate the trust the management of Valency Agro placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success.”

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