The Federal Government has announced that the salaries of federal civil servants who fail to verify their details or enlist their details in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) will be suspended from November 2023. This followed a grace period of one month issued by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. Confident sources had confirmed that the office of the Accountant General of the Federation had already temporarily suspended salaries of erring civil servants for August 2023.
A highly authoritative source who didn’t want their name in print said that a grace period was given and the deadline ended by October 27, 2023. He said that anyone who failed to make use of this opportunity would have themselves to blame as their salaries will be suspended from the end of October. This means no salaries from the month of August. Corroborating the source, a senior official in the civil service made available to our correspondent a letter issued by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation in that regard.
Civil servants were sensitized to the importance of the activity.
Part of the letter, which was addressed to all Permanent Secretaries and dated October 3, 2023, reads: “It will be recalled that the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation commenced the verification exercise of all the staff in the core ministries, departments and agencies in May 2017. Prior to the exercise, circulars were issued to sensitise all civil servants to the importance of the activity.” It further said that because of this, the IPPIS verification portal was opened and all civil servants were requested to update their records on the portal.
This was followed by physical verification of the documents submitted by them. The exercise was repeated in subsequent years and concluded in April 2023. At the end of the exercise, the Accountant-General of the Federation was directed to pay only civil servants whose records had been verified and uploaded on the IPPIS portal. Regrettably, some civil servants failed to take part in the exercise or neglected to complete it, leading to the suspension of their salaries. All officers whose salaries have been suspended are being given the last opportunity to access the IPPIS verification portal, update their records and present themselves for physical verification, the letter said.
Erring officers were given a last opportunity.
Specifically, it was noted in the letter that the officers fall into two categories—those who did not update their records online; and those who updated their records but were unable to complete the process and/or could not print the slip, indicating the conclusion of the online registration exercise. Speaking further on the details for the registration, the letter noted that the portal (https://verification.jopis.gov.ng) will be open for the officers from Tuesday 3rd to Tuesday 10th October, 2023.
Thereafter, the physical verification will be held from October 16 to October 27, 2023 at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Kubwa Expressway, Abuja. The exercise will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on each of the days. Of course, it was the last opportunity for the exercise. Meanwhile, workers had been complaining of the IPPIS since the previous administration. It bred anger and discontent among workers of federal MDAs years after the payment system was introduced to cut payroll fraud.
Disagreement over IPPIS had caused ASUU 9-month-long strike.
For instance, the attempt to migrate workers of federal tertiary institutions led to a nine-month strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in 2020. Many agreements reached by ASUU and the federal government as a condition for suspending the prolonged industrial action was the acceptance by the government to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) presented by the union as an alternative to IPPIS. UTAS was found to be efficient when it was subjected to an integrity test. The brawl between both entities still remains till today.