The Head of Civil Service of the Federation Dr Mrs Folashade Yemi Esan has said that the Integrated Personnel and Payment Information System IPPIS is the direct solution to age falsification for all cadres of employees of the federal civil service in the country.
The top civil servant also stated that there are about 2000 non-academic staff of the University of Calabar that were being investigated over falsification of age of retirement due to the non-existence of IPPIS at the time of their employment by the institution.
The HoS spoke at the second day of the truce meeting brokered by the Leadership of the House of Representatives on the lingering issue of industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU against the Federal Government.
She explained to the House that the strike is unabated because the recurrent expenditure of the federal government owned universities take a large chunk of the overhead cost of the annual budget of these ivory towers.
She said: “Each time we came to defend a budget and we present a recurrent expenditure that is high, they tell us to go back and reduce it.
“IPPPIS is a measure for us to contain the overwhelming salaries we pay out every year”.
The topmost civil servant also hinted that controversial payment plaform has a human resource component that can detect age falsification adding that it had been able to clean up the database of core civil servants for efficient management of their payrolls in service
She added that due to the slow pace of implementation of the payment system, the World Bank had been facilitating the deployment of the IPPIS in all offices in the public service of Nigeria.
In a remark, the Acting Accountant-General of the Federation Mr Okolkeaboh Sylva said that the current strike is not in any way related to what happened in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
He also said that there are a total of one billion two hundred million students in the nation federal universities.
He added that that there is no basis for the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU to dictate the payment platform to be used in paying its members by the federal government.
In his response, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed concern over the dwindling recognition of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).
Gbajabiamila said being important and strategic to national development through its core mandates, the institution should not lack all the required assistance it can get towards the attainment of its mandates.
the Speaker expressed the readiness of the House of Representatives to expeditiously attend to requests of NIPSS as soon as presented to the parliament.
The Speaker, however, emphasized the need for more engagement and collaboration between the House, the National Assembly and the institution considering the mandates of the two that are anchored on research and national development.
He said: “NIPSS is a familiar household name with a reputation, it’s not an institution that anyone will allow to die.
“There’s definitely a need for government to give NIPSS focus and there’s a need for more collaboration between NIPSS and the National Assembly, and we will be more than happy to be available.
“There’s no doubt research is key to development in every sector, therefore your role is very pivotal in our national development”.
As a result, Speaker Gbajabiamila encouraged the DG and his delegation to expeditiously forward the proposed draft amendment Bill of the institution while assuring that the issue of funding affecting the institution as highlighted in the proposed draft document would be better appreciated to act on.
He, however, advised the institution to henceforth work closely with the relevant Committee of the House for better synergy.
Earlier in his remarks, Prof Omotayo informed the Speaker that even as the generator of developmental policies in the country’s public and private sectors, NIPSS is almost going unrecognized while lamenting the negative effect of the paucity of funds on the implementation of the institution’s mandate.
He, therefore, sought the support of the House to ensure that the institute meets its mandate, noting that they would bring a proposal for the amendment of the Act establishing NIPSS to strengthen its operations.