The Federal Government has said its recently enforced Integration Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) has helped uncovered 70,000 ghost workers in the civil service system.
Dr. Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, stated at the 43rd session of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
According to the Director-General, the Federal Government has saved at least N220 billion through IPPIS and about N10 trillion via the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since it was fully implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Explaining the advantages of IPPIS, Arabi said the Federal Government can now give an account of the total Federal Civil Service personnel working in the country. He puts the total at 720,000 as of today.
Arabi said, “With the introduction of IPPIS, about 70,000 ghost workers have been eliminated from the payroll. We have a one-shot opportunity to look at IPPIS and say, as of today, we have 720,000 public servants working for Nigeria.
“We’ve been able to reduce more than N220bn wastage through wrong management of IPPIS on payroll by ministries, departments and agencies of government. We have reduced the budget deficits and changed the budget composition.
“We have succeeded in getting the Treasury Single Account deployed in all ministries, departments and agencies of government. Challenges have come in that implementation at the initial stage, but we are overcoming that and the government is able to save over N10tn over the years because whatever you’re generating now goes into a Treasury Single Account that is managed by somebody else, not you.
“And the government, especially at the top, is always able to see what has come into our Treasury Single Account today and what has gone out of that. So planning has been simplified. Budgeting has been simplified.”
The Integrated Financial Management Information System digitised government business and “reduced man-to-man contact and processing payments in ministries, departments and agencies.”
He said, “Transparency has been improved. A lot of things are done even outside the office. But the most important thing is the ability given to central agencies, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and the Ministry of Finance to see what is happening in all government MDAs because GIFMIS is not controlled by the agencies.
“It is controlled by the central agencies, but every activity you are doing under GIFMIS somebody is watching you and is monitoring that activity. This is a great achievement for us and for all of you and for all Nigerians.”
Zambia’s Finance Minister Faces Dual Challenge in Upcoming Budget Address
As Zambia’s Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, prepares to present the nation’s budget, he finds himself at a pivotal crossroads.
The second-largest copper producer in Africa is grappling with two pressing concerns: debt sustainability and soaring living costs.
Debt Restructuring Dilemma: Musokotwane’s foremost challenge is finalizing the $6.3 billion debt-restructuring deal with official creditors, led by China and France.
Delays have hindered disbursements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and left private creditors in limbo.
To reassure investors, a memorandum of understanding with the official creditor committee is urgently needed.
President Hakainde Hichilema emphasizes the importance of sealing these transactions to signal closure on this tumultuous chapter.
Plummeting Tax Revenue: The key copper-mining industry, which accounts for 70% of Zambia’s export earnings, is in turmoil.
First-half mining company taxes and mineral royalty collections have nosedived, adding to economic woes.
This, in turn, has depreciated the local currency, exacerbating imported inflation, particularly in fuel prices.
Rising Food Inflation: Musokotwane faces mounting political pressure to combat soaring living costs, with annual inflation reaching an 18-month high of 12%. Corn meal prices, a staple in Zambia, have surged by a staggering 67% in the past year.
Neighboring countries’ demand for corn has led to smuggling and further price spikes, raising concerns about food security.
Currency Woes: The kwacha’s value has been a barometer for the nation’s economic health. It depreciated by 16% since June 22, the worst performance among African currencies, reflecting the ongoing debt-restructuring uncertainty.
In his budget address, Musokotwane faces the daunting task of striking a balance between debt management, economic stability, and alleviating the burden on Zambia’s citizens.
The international community will keenly watch to see if his fiscal measures can steer the nation toward a path of recovery and prosperity.
IMF Urges Sub-Saharan African Nations to Eliminate Tax Exemptions for Fiscal Health
Sub-Saharan African countries have been advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tackle their fiscal deficits by focusing on eliminating tax exemptions and bolstering domestic revenue rather than resorting to fiscal expenditure cuts, which could hamper economic growth.
The IMF conveyed this recommendation in a paper titled ‘How to avoid a debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.’
The IMF’s paper emphasizes that Sub-Saharan African nations should reconsider their overreliance on expenditure cuts as a primary means of reducing fiscal deficits. Instead, they should place greater emphasis on revenue-generating measures such as eliminating tax exemptions and modernizing tax filing and payment systems.
According to the IMF, mobilizing domestic revenue is a more growth-friendly approach, particularly in countries with low initial tax levels.
The paper highlights success stories in The Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, where substantial revenue increases were achieved through a combination of revenue administration and tax policy reforms.
The IMF also pointed out that enhancing the participation of women in the labor force could significantly boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developing countries.
The IMF estimates that raising the rate of female labor force participation by 5.9 percentage points, which aligns with the average reduction in the participation gap observed in the top 5% of countries during 2014-19, could potentially increase GDP by approximately 8% in emerging and developing economies.
In a world grappling with the weakest medium-term growth outlook in over three decades, bridging the gender gap in labor force participation emerges as a vital reform that policymakers can implement to stimulate economic revival.
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