By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, has revealed that Federal Government has been able to save about N120 billion by addressing the menace of ghost workers in its workforce.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the 22nd Annual Conference of Certified National Accountants organised by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), the AGF said the amount was saved with the help of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which was introduced by the government in 2007.
At the conference themed ‘Sustainable Economic Management in a Recession: Issues, Strategies and Options,’ Mr Idris explained that the saving was not limited to detecting ghost workers, as excess personnel cost that had been channelled to non-personnel sub-heads by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were also recovered.
He said, “From April 2007 when the scheme commenced to date, 459 MDAs have been enrolled with a total number of 310,453 staff.
“Over N120 billion cumulatively saved as a result of the difference between the amount government would have released to the MDAs based on appropriation, and actual amount released and paid through IPPIS.
“By the end of this month (October), we expect to make an additional N100 billion savings after the verification and capturing of the Armed Forces.”
Mr Idris said further that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had so far saved the government N108.1 billion in account maintenance fees and other charges that would have been paid to banks for managing the accounts of MDAs.
He said that the TSA had also eliminated the bad practice of operating several accounts by MDAs, therefore making it difficult for MDAs to divert public funds.
Mr Idris, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), also recalled that the Government Integrated Financial Management Information system (GIFMIS) went live in April, 2012, and as at date, it had over 300 Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the system.
“GIFMIS has helped government to increase the ability of FGN to undertake central control and monitoring of expenditures and receipts in the MDAs and facilitates access to information on financial and operational performance.
“It has also helped to improve internal controls to prevent and detect potential and actual fraud.
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