As part of the ongoing efforts at taking firm control of his Administration, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reportedly directed the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to stop further payments to the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, of the Federal Government till further notice.
A presidency told the Saturday Tribune in Abuja on Friday that the Presidential order was issued before the embattled CBN boss Godwin Emeifiele was suspended and handed over to the Department of State Services DSS for further action
According to the source, the directive which came immediately after President Tinubu assumed office was to ensure accountability in the MDAs and to prevent looting of government treasury
The source said that the directive was total and clear, with no exception
A Director General of a federal Government Agency who confirmed the development to Saturday Tribune in confidence said that the directive had grounded operations for the second weeks running now as the Agency had no money to run its operations
According to him, “Federal Government has placed an embargo on CBN to stop further payments to the MDAs, we are not expecting money from anywhere, debts are piling up, even money we are owing Media Houses for advertisements, we have no money to settle the debts
” The saving grace we have is that the staff salaries are being paid directly from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, I think the situation will be normalized very soon”.
It was gathered that the Assistant Director at the OAGF in charge in charge of staff salary was alleged to have connived with some staff to pad up the salaries of an unspecified number of lower-level staff.
According to findings, many civil servants across several Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), including the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), have been suspended for alleged salary padding on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The development was confirmed by a top official in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, who hinted that those identified had been placed on suspension pending investigation.
According to him, “The scam was discovered when a level 7 officer whose salary should be in the range of N60,000 was paid over N400,000, which was in the range of a salary package of a Director.
” The salary padding racket had 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
The source further hinted that ” a staff suspected to be connected with the breach has been suspended to allow for a thorough investigation.”
“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,” the source further added.