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Govt officials suspended over alleged salary padding

Some civil servants across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been suspended for their alleged roles in salary “padding”, The Nation has learnt.

Those affected are from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and an undisclosed institute.

It was learnt that the suspended workers connived with some officials in the OAGF to pad their salaries by manipulating the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

An assistant director (AD) deployed in the IPPIS unit of the RMAFC is undergoing probe over salary padding.

The assistant director, who is desk officer in charge of staff’ salary was alleged to have connived with the OAGF personnel to pad the salaries of unspecified number of lower cadre workers.

A source familiar with the incident said: “The AD in connivance with some staff members are deep in the salary padding racket. The alarm blew recently when a Level 7 officer, whose salary should be in the range of N60, 000 was paid over N400, 000 – the salary package for a director.

“What happened was that another colleague on same salary scale saw the pay slip of a female colleague with a net pay of over N400, 000. Surprised, he tried to get details of the excess payment but was rebuffed.

Following the cold attitude from his colleague, the aggrieved staff raised the alarm and a committee was set up to investigate the matter”.

The salary padding racket The Nation learnt has been on for a while among a small clique of civil servants in different MDAs with the IPPIS office in the OAGF as the epicenter of the activity.

Reacting to the development, the OAGF in a statement said it is “in receipt of enquiries over alleged “salary padding” on the IPPIS involving some unspecified MDA.

The OAGF noted that “there is no evidence of salary padding” before the OAGF at this time; however, the office is aware of reported breach of the IPPIS third party payment protocol at an Institute outside Abuja.

“The incident has since been reported to, and is being investigated by relevant anti-corruption, security and regulatory agencies.

“In the meantime, a staff suspected to be connected with the breach has been suspended to allow for thorough investigation.”

The OAGF added that all necessary steps are being taken to strengthen the controls around the IPPIS payment platform and an independent forensic audit of the entire payroll system is underway to ascertain if the reported breach is isolated or widespread”.

Confirming the development, the RMAFC Chairman, Mohammed Bello Shehu, said the commission has identified some culprits and placed them on suspension pending the investigation of the incidence.

He said some workers at the commission were found to have manipulated the IPPIS system to pad their salaries above what they were supposed to earn.

“If the indicted officials are found culpable of the salary padding allegations, they will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution,” Bello Shehu said in a chat.

The RMAFC boss, who declined to disclose the number or the identities of those involved, emphasised that the commission will not condone such blatant disregard of the civil service rules.

“We will investigate to know how long this has been going on, how much has been illegally acquired and attempts made to recover the excess from those involved”, he said.

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