…Says, IPPS can’t check ghost workers

Federal Government yesterday said it has uncovered a massive fraud of N3.3 trillion in its agencies. This is coming just as the Auditor-General of the Federation revealed that the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information Systems, IPPS is incapable of checking ghost workers syndrome in the service.
Of the uncovered N3.3trillion, according to the federal government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC cornered N3.2 trillion.
These revelations were contained in a report by the Federal Government to the National Assembly.
The Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, who submitted the report to the Clerk of National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, said the N3.2 trillion realised from sales of crude oil, was not remitted to Federation Account Allocation Committee.
Ukura said total payments amounting to N73.5 billion were made contrary to the established purpose of the funds.
The report reads in part: “The sum of N36 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser for the rehabilitation and construction of Dams instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
“The Sum of N2.9 billion was spent for the procurement of hand sanitizer for schools and critical public places.
“The sum of N31 billion was payment of subsidy on fertiliser and youth employment in Agriculture programme.
“The sum N2.4 billion was payment for group life Assurance Premium for Armed Forces Budget in 2013 but not cash backed.
“The sum of N500 million was payment for schools Agricultural programmes.
“From examination of NNPC mandates to CBN on domestic crude Oil sales and reconciliation statement of Technical Sub-committee of Federation Allocation Committee meeting held in January 2014, amount not remitted to FAAC was N3.2 trillion.
“Review of sales profile on sales of Gas to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas was not paid to the Federation Account but transferred to some undisclosed Escrow Accounts. Relevant documents were not made available for verification.”
Other agencies listed in the fraud included the Police Service Commission, Foreign Mission, Nigeria Ports Authority, Petroleum Equalization Fund, Nigerian Prison Service and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
IPPS can’t check ghost workers
In a related development, the Auditor – General for the Federation, also yesterday affirmed that the current management of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information Systems, IPPS was not capable of checking ghost workers in the country due to the careless exposure of its data base to the public.
At the 2014 Annual Audit Report presentation, Ukura maintained that the syndrome would continue unless the current management of IPPS is cautioned by the appropriate authorities.
According to him, an unidentified staff of Soft Alliance Limited, the software developers, have unhindered access to the data base and usually set up new users and change live data, from time to time.
Ukura, while speaking with journalists after presenting his report explained that the password controls for access to IPPIS were not adequate because the database can be accessed remotely through the Internet.
He said that the password to access the IPPIS database does not expire after 90 days hence making it possible for retired government officers to use their password after leaving office.
The Auditor-General also expressed concern that some user names and passwords were shared by several users and that most of them used words like ‘consultant’ or ‘technical’ with no restriction on the number of sign-in attempts.
“The audit trail for the IPPIS has not been enabled and that as a result, it is not always possible to trace which user made particular inputs or changes. For example, fraudulent transactions cannot be traced to a particular user.
“Application controls have not been activated in IPPIS to ensure, that gross pay is input from salary and allowance tables, rather than the actual amounts being input directly.
“Completeness checks are not activated to ensure that all necessary data like the bank account number, grade level, and job title, have been entered.
“Duplicate checks to determine that the bank account numbers or employee numbers or employee numbers are not used by one than one payee.
“Reasonableness checks not activated so that an officer’s age less than 18 years can be still paid while user profiles are not adequately restricted, hence an officer in one MDA can amend the payroll data for other MDAs.
“The ability to create new users on the system is not adequately protected and restricted to a few ‘super users”, he stressed.
Ukura lamented that the his office had as a result of the anomalies, discovered that about N330m was paid to 300, 000 without following approved salary scale while double payments of about N30m was paid within three months.
He added that the imperfections in the IPPIS system had made the country to lose other huge sums of money with the payment of N12m each to 40 members of staff who were not included in the payroll of the relevant MDAs.
Ukura also explained that 152 officers on IPPIS did not have personnel files in their MDAs while N193m paid to unidentified persons.
Apart from this, he explained that N1.163m was paid to were paid to 596 employees with income tax deductions from April 2012 to September 2013 and that 2, 000 employees had no pension deductions.