Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Dasuki Arabi has attributed some of the discrepancies being experienced in the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to loans incurred by civil servants.
He, however, admitted that there were some administrative lapses on the part of the government in the payroll system, but assured that those challenges were being addressed.
His explanations came against the backdrop of rejection of the IPPIS by unions within the university system, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Recall that ASUU stated recently that its rejection of the IPPIS payment platform had been justified by the allegation of fraud levelled at the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris who was alleged to have embezzled over N80billion from the service.
The BPSR Director-General said most of the public servants complaining of inefficiency in the IPPIS were consulted personally before the policy took effect.
His words, “On deductions and complaints around IPPIS, you know, we just started from the pilot ministries six, 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 par with other nations.
“I remember, I am 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 cadre 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, but I would not take these complaints that there are deductions like that, it cannot be arbitrary. For every deduction that is done, there is justification for that. And if there are problems, they are identified and will be rectified.
“Quite a number of our colleagues, some may have taken a lot of loans that may have committed them, deductions are being made left, right and centre. So I want to assure you and the person that complained to you, that the government is addressing some of these problems”.
Commenting on the disposition of some civil servants to service delivery, Arabi said such acts are highly condemnable.
He said such lapses will be addressed when an assessment mechanism for gauging a worker’s performance comes on stream fully.
“Every agency of government that is created, is to serve a purpose. So they have a mandate. They have a vision and for anybody to say there is nothing for him to do, possibly he doesn’t want to make himself relevant.
“That is part of the things that we are trying to address, a lot of culture re-orientation. To get people to understand why they must deliver service, regardless of the condition they find themselves in their ministry, department or agency of government.
“If one says there is no work, I know for sure there is work to do. But I want to assure you that the government is doing quite a lot to improve the conditions of our offices.
“We are trying to deliver service, that means to institutionalize succession planning, mentorship and performance management. If this claim that some say they don’t have work to do, hence won’t report for duties is true, with the introduction of performance management which will come into effect by the beginning of next year. Promotions and everything will be done based on your performance. So even if there’s no work, you should struggle to look for work, so that we justify our existence in the ministry,” he stated.