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Economy

April salaries of armed forces personnel paid – OAGF

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The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Sunday said it had completed paying April salaries of Armed Forces personnel.

Its Director (Information, Press and Public Relations),  Mr Henshaw Ogubike, disclosed this in a statement to newsmen in Abuja.

Ogubike said that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) Department confirmed the payment on May 8.

He quoted the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Office as saying ”the delay in the salary payment was due to the unexpected lockdown in the country.”

Ogubike noted that the lockdown led to late submission of variations by the agencies concerned and the need to accommodate their inputs in the April payroll accordingly.

“This explanation became necessary following a Newspaper report which alleged that the April salaries of military and paramilitary personnel was delayed as a result of incapability and inexperience of IPPIS operators.

“As mentioned in the newspaper report, officials of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System had given assurance that the salaries would be paid between May 4 and May 8.

“And this was promptly carried out as noted earlier,” he said.

Ogubike said OAGF and IPPIS department staff were competent professionals who had demonstrated the capacity to work in line with the presidential directives and have saved the nation over N361 billion.

He said they achieved this in spite of distractions and opposition from those whose objective was to sabotage the government policy.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu (NAN)

Economy

Fire outbreak: OAGF says GIFMIS payment platform now restored 

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The Office of Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) on Friday in Abuja announced the successful restoration of service on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform.

Mr Henshaw Ogubike, the Director (Information, Press and Public Relations) at OAGF, made the announcement through a statement issued in Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that GIFMIS is an IT-based system for budget management and accounting.

It is meant to improve Public Expenditure Management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across ministries and agencies.

Ogubike said the shutdown of the GIFMIS platform was caused by the fire outbreak at the Treasury House on Wednesday, which was successfully contained.

He said the fire affected the outdoor panels of the cooling system to the server room, and as a result, the server automatically shut itself down.

This had resulted in lack of service on the GIFMIS platform.

“Presently, service has been restored and payments can be made and received through the GIFMIS Platform,’’ Ogubike added.

He expressed the regrets of OAGF regarding any inconveniences this short breakdown in service on the GIFMIS platform might have caused the public.

“The OAGF remains alive to its responsibility, as the anomaly was rectified in less than 24 hours from the time of the incident,’’ the director said.

(
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Olawale Alabi)
(NAN)

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Politics

Senate decries non provision of financial records of IPPIS by OAGF

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The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday decried the failure of the Office of Accountant General of the Federation to present the 2015 Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) financial details to it for scrutiny.

The committees reaction was sequel to questions posed to the Account General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sen Matthew Urohidge (PDP Edo), had requested him to present the statement of Account and mandate of IPPIS to the Committee for vetting which  he failed to do.

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts had requested the documents to assist it in its current probe of the queries raised by the office of the Auditor General for the Federation in his financial statement that raised a query for the Office of the Accountant General.

The Accountant General was represented by  a Director in his office, Mr Adiro Emmanuel, who was unable to provide all the necessary documents pertaining to the IPPIS account put at N2.9 billion.

Last week the Accountant General had told the Senate Panel that the documents were available on-line and that his office could make them available on demand.

But on Tuesday his representative returned without the documents with an excuse that the Office of the Accountant General had requested the documents from the CBN.

The office of the Accountant General was also unable to provide satisfactory response to why Nigeria’s revenue dropped drastically from N200 billion to N165 billion in 2015.

On the query concerning the N596 billion Ecological Fund and why the fund was not invested to yield more money for Nigeria, the explanation of the representative of the Accountant General was deemed not quite satisfactory to the lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund in the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Habiba Lawal, explained that the fund in question did not belong to the Federal Government alone.

Unable to do anything substantial, the Senate Committee had to adjourn the meeting, while mandating the Accountant General of the Federation to within two weeks provide the documents and make himself available to the panel.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Donald Ugwu

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Economy

Buhari orders OAGF to publish daily treasury statements

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Office  of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to, henceforth,   publish daily treasury statement to keep to the ethos of financial transapancy of his administration.

Buhari gave the directive on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of Federal Government’s Financial Transparency Policy and the opening of Treasury Portal.

Nigeria News Agency reports the event coincides with International Anti- Corruption Day set aside by the United Nations Convention Against Corrutpion.

Represented by the Minister of state, Ministry of  Niger Delta , Senator  Tayo Alasoadura, Buhari specifically  ordered the Treasury Office  in the OAGF and all accounting officers to  publish daily payments reports in the new portal.

www.opentreasury.gov.ng.

The President noted that the directive was to drive home the seriousness his administration attached to financial transapancy in management of public sector fund across Ministries,  Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.

“Henceforth, every single transaction of government must be made public.

“The OAGF must publish a daily treasury statement which will provide information about what came into the national purse and what went out every single day.

“With these reports, the treasury will publish payments of at least  N10 million while all MDAS must publish payments above  N5 million made out of all public funds under their purview.

“The information to be published must include; the MDA that is responsible for the payment, the beneficiary, the purpose and amount of each payment.

” The Accounting Officers must be responsible for providing answers to any question from the public relating to transactions completed by entities under their charge,” he said.

To drive home the enforcement of financial transapancy across  all MDAS, the President further directed them to  publish monthly budget performance reports.

He said the  reports must include performance of the budget in various dimensions including MDA’s functions and economic activities performed by all federal government agencies.

The President further charged the OAGF to publish monthly fiscal accounts detailing fiscal performance of the federation including receipts from all the collection agencies and payments out of the federation account.

He directed that the publication must be done within 14 days after the end of each month.

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed  said that the inauguration of financial transapancy and open treasury portal marked another milestone in government’s effort to deepen tranparency and curb corruption in public sector.

Ahmed said that the  new policy and the Single Treasury Account being implemented since 2015 are inline with government resolve to fight corruption and build peoples confidence.

Ahmed said prior to approval of financial portal by Federal Executive Council ( FEC), her ministry ensured that all MDAs got sensitised to the new financial policy.

She disclosed that the portal was developed  in-house, not by any Consultant, stressing that the government expected full compliance not later than three months.

The minister also disclosed  that the ministry had put complaint  committee on the implementation, compliance and effectiveness

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
(NAN)

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Economy

OAGF rewards 37 staff for outstanding performance

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The Servicom unit of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAFG) on Wednesday rewarded 37 of its staff for outstanding performance and quality service delivery for the year 2018.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, made this known at the Staff Merit Award Ceremony and Unveiling of the OAGF revised Service Charter in Abuja.

Idris said that the nine directors and 28 other staff of the OAGF being recognised had not only distinguished themselves in their duties but also showed high sense of discipline.

“I have no doubt that the awards will spur other officers towards greater performance and excellence.

“I therefore urge all staff of the treasury to take full leverage of this novel opportunity as it is geared towards attainment of visions and missions of the treasury house,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, urged civil servants to be hardworking and always put in their best in whatever they do.

“The benefits of giving these awards is to increase employee’s productivity, performance and organisation’s productivity.

“When this happens, we retain top talents in the civil service, rescue mediocrity in the system, uphold excellence and create team spirit,” she said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that SERVICOM is an initiative of the Federal Government, established in 2004 to promote effective and efficient service delivery in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The aim is also to ensure customer satisfaction and to manage the performance-expectation gap between government and citizens. (NAN)
RI/IAA/IS

Edited by Isaac Aregbeshola/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Economy

OAGF posts GIFMIS support officers to 36 states for service delivery

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The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), has posted Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS) State Support Officers to the 36 states to boost service delivery.

Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), said this during a meeting with the Federal Pay Officers and newly posted GIFMIS state support officers in Abuja.

A statement by Mr Henshaw Ogubike, Head, Press and Public Relations, on Thursday made this known, adding that Idris was represented by the Director, Funds, Mr Mohammed Usman.

Idris said the posting was part of the Federal Government’s measures to strengthen GIFMIS support for better effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) end-users.

He said that GIFMIS support and master data administration had been decentralised to bring support closer to all MDAs. 

He said “To this effect, GIFMIS support teams have been deployed to resume at the Federal Pay Offices of the 36 States of the federation with immediate effect to provide the required technical support to the MDAs.”

He, however, enjoined the newly posted officers not to compromise as they resume at their new posts.

Mr Desteo Mugabi, the GIFMIS Project Manager, said that the posting of the support team marked a major milestone in the OAGF’s quest to reposition public finance management in the country. 

He added that the move would help in assisting users to improve their use of store management.

Mr Danladi Zubairu, the Director, Sub-Treasury of the Federation, charged the federal pay officers to accept, mentor and guide the GIFMIS support staff posted to them, and give them the necessary wherewithal to work with to achieve the purpose for which they were posted.

GIFMIS is one of the economic reforms of the Federal Government which provides a foundation upon which different Public Financial Management reforms will be anchored. 

With the advancement of Information Technology, GIFMIS implementation will facilitate the Federal Government’s quest for greater transparency in its operation towards the achievement of Vision 2020. 

It is aimed at increasing the speed at which decisions are taken and services delivered to the general public and reduce opportunities for corruption and ensure safety of public resources.

——-

Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

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Defence/Security

Sen. Goje: OAGF has constitutional power to takeover any criminal case says EFCC

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Case

Abuja, June 9, 2019 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has constitutional power to takeover any criminal case at any stage of investigation.

Mr Tony Orilade, Spokesman of the commission made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday.

Orilade was reacting to the takeover of the case of alleged N25 billion fraud filed against former Gombe State Governor, Sen. Danjuma Goje by the commission.

According to Orilade, by virtue of the existing law, the office of the attorney- general of the federation has the power to takeover any criminal case at any stage.

“And that is exactly what has happened”.

The OAGF had on Friday taken over the case of alleged N25 billion fraud filed against Sen. Goje (APC-Gombe Central).

Goje was until Thursday last week, a contender for the post of the President of the Senate.

He withdrew from the race after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and immediately endorsed his rival Ahmad Lawan (APC-Yobe).

Section 174 (1a) of the 1999 Constitution States that the Attorney-General of the Federation shall have the power “To institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court-martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly.”

While subsection (1b) says “to takeover and continue any such proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person”.

NAN reports that for almost eight years, the EFCC had been prosecuting the former governor until Friday, June 7.

The case, which was before Justice Babatunde Quadiri of Jos Federal High Court II, had even gone to the Jos Court of Appeal over the remaining two count charges out of 21 filed against him by EFCC.

The Appellate Court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the appeal.

When the case came up for an emergency hearing before Justice Quadiri, the EFCC Counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, told Court that the agency was withdrawing from the case and handing it over the office of the Attorney-General for continuation.

“My Lord, this case was earlier adjourned for June 20 for continuation of hearing, but then we are here today on the latest development on the matter.

“We as EFCC counsels are withdrawing from the matter and handing it over to the office of the Attorney-General for continuation with the prosecution.

“As you can see, in Court is a State Counsel from the AG’F’s office to formally take over this case from us,” Shittu declared.

Responding, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), did not object to the EFCC withdrawal and handing over of the case to the Attorney-General.

“My Lord we are not objecting to the anti-graft withdrawal and handing over the prosecution to the AG’s office, “ Erokoro said.

Mr Pius Asika, Counsel from the office of the attorney general, however, announced his appearance for the case.

Asika then applied for an adjournment to enable him prepare for the case proper “having come into the matter.

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General news

NASU threatens 14-day warning strike over shortfall in salaries

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) says it will begin a 14-day warning strike in Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, over shortfall in payment of its members’ salaries.

Mr Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Adeyemi said that the non-teaching staff union was protesting the short-payment of its members’ salaries since February 2020 through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

According to Adeyemi, the association has filed the Trade Dispute Act CAP 432, Trade Disputes (Essential Services) Act, CAP 433 of the of the law of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and Trade disputes (Amendment) Decree No 47 of 1992 otherwise called Form TD/3.

He said NASU has duly filed official complaints against the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in its filled form TD/3, titled ‘notification of trade dispute, inter and intra – union disputes by employers/workers organisation, among others.

“We have raised issues in dispute to include non-payment of salaries to some staff, short payment salaries to some staff, failure to pay approved allowances as contained in the year 2009 agreement.

” Others are, non-deduction of check-off dues, and non-deduction of cooperative and other deductions of its members in the Federal Universities and inter-university centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education.

“We have also stated in the petition that various steps aimed at resolving the crisis have failed, ” he said.

He, however, noted the steps so far taken to resolve the issue include, meeting of NASU leadership with the Director, IPPIS on  Jan.21, 2020.

He said another meeting of NASU leadership with the same director was held on Feb. 4, 2020, which did not yield desired result.

Adeyemi also said that a letter had been issued to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, declaring a trade dispute over IPPIS officials refusal to effect appropriate corrections of all the anomalies.

He said that in spite of the assurances given by the minister, the issues has continued to linger.

Adeyemi added that NASU members have continued to observe the anomalies in their salaries paid in February, March and April.

He, therefore, said that NASU’s complaints as contained in its letter dated April  7, 2020, fell on deaf ears as none of it was addressed in the March salaries.

“It is unfortunate that IPPIS has only betrayed the leadership of NASU by deceiving us into accepting that the IPPIS platform will take on board all the peculiarities affecting our members and that there will be no problem if we key into the platform.

“Now we know better. IPPIS promises of doing a three-month experiment has become very disastrously and we are unable to allow this defective and deficient process to continue,” he said.

Adeyemi noted that NASU has issued a notice of strike, having fulfilled all the statutory requirements.

He said the association has also placed all its members in the Federal Universities and Intra-University Centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education on a 14-day warning strike.

He added that the strike take effective from the date of the resumption of work in all the mentioned institutions.

“Thereafter, an indefinite strike will follow if positive action is not taken to remedy the situation, ” he said.

Adeyemi said that the strike notice has been conveyed to its members during the weekend through a letter with reference number /307/209.

He said the 14-day warning strike would be used to protest the refusal of IPPIS to react positively to issues that affect the correct payment of its members’ salaries and other errors identified which have been placed before the IPPIS for correction.

Meanwhile, Mr Henshaw Ogubike, Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, OAGF, in a statement said that his attention has been drawn to series of reports on claims by tertiary institutions unions, over IPPIS deductions in their salaries, among others.

Ogubike said it was important to put the records straight for the interest of the general public and majority of staff of tertiary institutions that have displayed unparalleled understanding and cooperated with IPPIS until date.

“This office is not unaware that there are bound to be teething challenges arising from migration of tertiary institutions onto IPPIS platform.

” This requires the cooperation and understanding of all the tertiary institutions to enable us effect the necessary corrections as quickly as possible.

“On the completion of this process, the issue of payment of consequential arrears can be meaningful and realistic to ensure that there is no overpayment or underpayment arising from the payment,” he said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/ Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Health

FG has received N792m donations to fight COVID-19 – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), has received N792 million as donations to eradicate the virus.

Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and PTF chairman, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja.

“The OAGF has published the details of inflow into the FGN COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.

“As at May 14th, N792 million was credited to the Treasury Single Account from various sources,” he said.

Mustpha commended the sacrifices of some ordinary Nigerians typified by some of the donations which were as low one hundred naira, meaning that they came from the purest of hearts.

He expressed PTF’s appreciation to several groups that had been supportive in the discharge of its mandate.

“We must recognise the support of the Nigeria Police, the armed forces, the intelligence   community and the para-military services in maintaining security, carrying out enforcement and staying in the frontlines always,” he said.

The chairman lauded the Nigeria Air Force for providing the logistics that made it easy for the surveillance offered.

He also commended the Lagos Chapter of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) for  making hotels available to the Lagos State Government for use as isolation centres.

“Similarly, we recognise some airlines such as Dana, AERO Contractors and Bristow Helicopters for the support provided in the movement of logistics and supplies,” he said.

Noting that public discussion had centred on the need to look inwards for a local cure, he said that the PTF remained firmly supportive of local initiative but was also aware that it must follow laid down protocols.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been mandated to publish some of the guidelines for public consumption; we want to shift the conversation to the laboratories while awaiting results for the greater good of the nation.” 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged 2019 result falsification: AGF fails to produce INEC officials to court

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Attorney-General of the Federation’s office on Monday failed to arraign two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their alleged involvement in electoral fraud during the Feb. 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The officials, Sulaiman Ikhuoriah and Olugbenga Omotiloye were scheduled to be arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu of an FCT High Court, Maitama.

The AGF charged the suspects with falsifying results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidates against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the elections held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo.

 

Ikhuoriah was said to have served as the Collation Officer for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, while Omotiloye was an electoral officer at Bishop Kelly, beside St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin City.

 

The alleged infractions of the two officials of the electoral body were investigated by the Edo Command Office of the DSS.

 

The duo was initially billed for arraignment before the court March 10 but the court did not sit that day.

 

At the resumed hearing , both defendants were absent in court, prompting the judge to ask the counsel from the Office of the AGF of their whereabout.

 

The prosecution told the court that the DSS had yet to bring the two defendants to Abuja from Edo State.

 

Adding that the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF) communicated through letters with the DSS to bring the defendants to Abuja, expressing  surprise that the Service did not bring them.

 

They, therefore, asked for a date in April for the prosecution to bring the two before the court for arraignment.

 

Justice Halilu, however, frowned at the inability of the prosecution to bring the defendants to court.

 

According to him, the court was not a warehouse where the prosecution would only come and file the case against the defendants and subsequently do nothing about it.

 

He then told the counsel from the OAGF that he would not give the prosecution any date, saying, however, that, “If you bring them (from Edo State) today, bring them tomorrow to court for arraignment.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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