The Federal Government has abandoned the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) designed to curtail the activities of ghost workers in the federal civil service.
In its place, the Ministry of Finance said it has opted for the Bank Berification Number (BVN) because of the slow pace of progress encountered in the enrollment of staff on IPPIS. The Bank Verification Number is a number that uniquely identifies each bank’s customer for “Know Your Customer” (KYC) purposes.
According to the ministry, the strategy of using BVN rather than requiring the physical presence of each member of staff has significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the project and at a lower cost than previously incurred.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, in a statement said that the BVN does not require a physical presence of a worker and this will help accelerate the pace of enrollment.
“We believe that the use of BVN rather than requiring physical presentation as a first line check on the integrity of our payroll is a cost effective and efficient measure. This will accelerate the pace of enrollment on IPPIS as well as identify anomalies which can be flagged for further investigation and review. To date, despite over 5 years since the initiation of the project, only 20 per cent of public employees have actually been enrolled onto IPPIS due to a variety of reasons.
As part of our public financial management reforms, we are committed to scrutinising our largest single expense item. Personnel related costs account for over 40 per cent of government expenditure and must be prudently managed to ensure the validity of every payment. We are therefore determined that everyone who collects a salary from the Federal Purse is on the IPPIS system.”
Adeosun thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Plc (NIBBS) for their co-operation in the exercise. She noted that under BVN more than 30 million biometric and personal data records had been captured.
“The BVN provides a pool of reliable data against which records held on the Federal Government’s payroll will be cross checked to identify inconsistencies including duplicate payments, payments to dormant accounts, multiple payments to a single account holder, non-matching of data provided, among others” she noted, assuring that genuine staff have nothing to be concerned about but those who are collecting multiple salaries and those engaged in any type of payroll fraud are guaranteed to be caught out.
The Ministry of Finance has also built in controls to counteract those seeking to transfer their salary receiving accounts to micro-finance, mortgage bank and other non BVN accounts in order to evade detection.
“Since the advent of BVN we have seen a trend of such requests for transfer from commercial bank accounts to non BVN accounts. Accordingly, we plan to undertake a detailed review of all persons who have requested such transfers in the last 12 months. The Ministry of Finance is also working closely with NIBBS to finalise plans to roll out BVN to capture non-BVN bank institutions with a significant number of Federal Government salary accounts.