The Federal Government has announced its decision to withhold the salaries of public officers whose records cannot be verified on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) starting on Friday.
This information was conveyed in a statement signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, and subsequently shared with the media by her Director of Communications, Mohammed Ahmed.
The initial report indicated that an extension was granted for workers to verify their details, following which their salaries for October 2023 would be seized.
The statement clarified that a two-week verification period, set to conclude on Friday, was offered to officers who had not participated in previous verifications.
According to the statement, the verification exercise, designed to ensure accurate records for all civil servants, is progressing well despite some initial challenges.
It mentioned that, “The verification of records of all civil servants will be finalized at the end of the ongoing exercise, and any officer whose record could not be verified will be delisted from the payroll of the government.”
The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, which oversees official records and information on public servants, initiated the effort to cleanse the payroll in 2013.
Leveraging technology, an online verification portal was launched in April 2017, urging public servants to update their records online.
Following an extensive campaign through various media channels, an initial three-month compliance period was extended to one year, ending in May 2018.
The second phase, physical verification, commenced in 2018, with 500 OHCSF staff trained and deployed to states to facilitate the process.
Several officers who had not previously complied were granted a final opportunity to update their records in October 2023.
The portal remained open until October 27, 2023, following which action would be taken against defaulters.
The number of government workers on the Federal Government’s payroll has risen from 1.14 million in June 2020 to 1.5 million in August, an increase of 360,000 workers in approximately three years.
The IPPIS has been instrumental in eliminating ghost workers and has contributed to substantial savings in government expenses.
In July 2021, the Federal Government suspended the salaries of 300 workers from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for failing to update their records on the IPPIS.
By July 2022, approximately 61,446 civil servants from various MDAs had been verified on the IPPIS, while 3,657 civil servants were reported to the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Related Offenses Commission for prosecution due to their failure to complete the verification process on the platform.