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FG Saves N500bn from Implementation of Integrated Payroll System

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  • FG Saves N500bn from Implementation of Integrated Payroll System

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed yesterday disclosed that the federal government had recovered over N500 billion in personnel costs through the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

This is as the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, also said the sum of N197 billion through the removal of ghost workers from the federal payroll between 2017 and 2018.

Both spoke at the opening of a retreat on the role of MDAs in the implementation of IPPIS and its effect on the worker’s condition of service and government revenue.

The programme was organised by the office of the AGF.

The IPPIS scheme is one of the federal government’s reform initiatives designed to centralise payroll and payment systems, facilitate convenient staff remuneration with minimal wastage, aid manpower training and budgeting, which began in 2007.

It further facilitates planning, monitor monthly payment of staff emoluments against what was provided for in the budget; ensure database integrity; facilitate easy storage; updating and retrieval of personnel records for administrative and pension processes.

Ahmed further noted that the concept of IPPIS was an integral part of the federation government’s public finance reform initiative aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of government payroll.

According to her, the reforms initiative was aimed at reducing the cost of governance, adding that currently, about 70 per cent of monthly revenue inflow into the Consolidated Revenue Fund is being spent on recurrent expenditure.

She said this trend, if not corrected, would not free the much-needed resources for improving the standard of living of the people.

She said: “Over the years, several attempts have been made to remove records of ghost workers as well as ensure that personnel are paid directly to prevent the diversion of personnel emoluments as was the case prior to the implementation of the policy.

“You will all recall that the first forensic audit of the IPPIS carried out at the inception of the present administration revealed multiple deficiencies in the personnel records of MDAs.

“More instances of personnel records padding as well as unsanctioned recruitment exercised were identified.

“Available records from the federal ministry of finance through the activities of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit revealed a saving of over N500 billion.

“A substantial part of this amount was as a result of the continuous verification of the nominal roll and payrolls of MDAs”

The AGF, however, explained that of the N197 billion salvaged from ghost workers, the sum of N67 billion was saved in 2017 while the balance of N130 billion was saved in the 2018 fiscal period.

He said through the implementation of the IPPIS initiative, over 700,000 government workers from 515 MDAs are now on IPPIS platform.

He also said that 39 Nigeria Police commands and three formations, four paramilitary agencies and retired heads of service and permanent secretaries are also on the platform- in contrast to the 285 MDAs and over 235,000 workers in 2015.

Idris said the initiative was aimed at reducing wastage in personnel cost, facilitating easy storage, updating of personnel record and aiding manpower planning and budgeting.

According to the AGF, the successes recorded so far in the scheme were due to the political will of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He gave some of the successes of the initiative to include planning for personnel budget, reduction of ghost workers syndrome, and easy retrieval of personal records.

He gave some of the challenges of the implementation of the initiative to include institutional resistance, lack of commitment from MDAs, and delay in enrolment process among others.

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.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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