The Federal Government of Nigeria claimed it has saved about N10 trillion since the Single Treasury Account (TSA) became fully operational in the country.
Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi, stated this, yesterday, while appearing at the 43rd Session of the ministerial media briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Giving the score card of the bureau in the execution of its core mandate, particularly in ensuring the full implementation of reform policies and programmes for the government, Arabi also said the introduction of the Integration Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), had led to the reduction of the Federal Civil Service personnel to 720,000.
According to him, the IPPIS led to the weeding out of about 70,000 ghost workers from service.
Speaking with video slides, he said: “On the next slide, these are some of the benefits we think government or Nigerians have benefited out of the work we have been doing in collaboration with other agencies of government, where with the introduction of IPPIS, about 70,000 ghost workers had been eliminated from the payroll.
“We have a one shot opportunity to look at IPPIS and say, as at today, we have 720,000 public servants working for Nigeria.
“This is a great achievement, which I think we need to encode and we need to get it celebrated by all of us. We’ve been able to reduce more than N220 billion 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, TSA, 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 government is able to save over N10 trillion over the years because whatever you’re generating now goes into a Treasury Single Account that is managed by somebody else, not you.
“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. Our distribution and allocation of resources have been simplified and streamlined.”
He noted that, as part of the reforms in the service, the government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, had made government business paperless and reduced man-to-man contact in processing and payments in ministries, departments and agencies of government.
On deductions blamed on the IPPIS, which had been a source of friction, especially between government and universities unions, Arabi affirmed that deductions just do not occur on their own, except where loans had been obtained.
He explained further: “On deductions and complaints around IPPIS, you know we have just started from six pilot ministries. We went to 10, then because of the push by the international community, especially the development partners, who are really eager to get Nigeria at that level at par with other nations, we went through.
“I remember, I’m privileged to be part of the team that started the discussion around IPPIS and we were able to get different sectors of the public service to come and have meetings and discussions with us to understand their various cadres within the field, their pay structure; their responsibilities and all these have been taken care of.
“Along the line, there are some new creations and I think there are some omissions, which government is addressing.
“For every deduction done, there is justification for that. And if there are problems, they are identified and complaints made will be rectified, and quite a number of our colleagues may have taken lot of loans that have committed themselves, deductions are being made left, right and centre.
“So, I want to assure you and the person that complained to you that government is addressing some of these problems.”