Pantami inaugurates committee to probe IPPIS, TSA, other FG payment systems
By Paul Michael
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, at the weekend inaugurated a Presidential Steering Committee for the technical review of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) over irregularities.
He is the chairman of the committee which also comprises the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone; and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Others are Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation; Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation as well as National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
The rest are the Director General, Bureau of Public Service and Reforms (BPSR) and Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), who serves as the Secretary of the committee.
The committee is expected to ‘cleanse’ the systems from the manipulation of some corrupt officials.
Pantami during the inauguration said that the committee would be supervised by the ministry and the relevant government institutions.
The minister disclosed that the systems have technical challenges which needed to be corrected.
According to him, the committee has mandated to proffer solutions to the possible leakages inherent in the systems that were exploited by people to divert public funds.
“The committee is to advise the president on how to improve the systems particularly, if there are leakages that are being exploited by evil people,” Pantami stated.
The efficacy of some of the government’s payment systems, especially the IPPIS, has been put under spotlight following the uncovering of over N100 billion fraud by ousted Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and the refusal of public lecturers to be enrolled on the salary payment platform.
As part of its argument in favour of the over five months of strike, ASUU has maintained that IPPIS was defective, prone to fraud and unworkable for a peculiar remuneration regime for university lecturers.
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Pantami explained that at the time IPPIS (2006), GIFMIS (2012), and TSA (2015) were deployed, the provision of NITDA Act 2006 under section A of setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions was not followed.
He said as a result of this, “these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as encouraged by law and many other government policies.
“However, in spite of that, many achievements had been recorded by their deployment.
“For example, based on the report from the relevant institutions of government, the IPPIS saved the government over N120 billion, while TSA saved over N10 trillion for government.”
According to the Minister, these records showed that government had recorded some gains, particularly in the recent allegations on the system by people who siphoned money.
“It is because of this that we must identify where the challenges are, if any and see how these systems can be enhanced technically.
“So that we will be able to consolidate the gains achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve many more successes,” he added.
The minister warned that any institution that fails to give access would be reported to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A punishment is going to be recommended to the President for implementation,” he said.
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