The Federal Government has dragged about 3,657 civil servants before the Independent and Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC) for prosecution over failure to get verified on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Folashade Yemi-Esan, who disclosed this while appearing on the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday, also revealed that a total of 61,446 civil servants in the core Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have now been verified.
She said another 1,618 applicants were found to have used illegal or fake letters while 874 officers have been suspended from the IPPIS platform.
The federal civil service boss noted that about N180 million is being saved every month and about N2 billion annually from the implementation of the IPPIS.
She also assured that the payment platform can accommodate the salaries of university lecturers who have since rejected it in preference for University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) which is yet to pass relevant integrity tests.
Yemi-Esan said some former permanent secretaries have been jailed for fraud, adding that the country’s body of permanent secretaries has dissected what led to their downfall so that they won’t be a repeat.
Her words: “You know, the position of a permanent secretary and an accounting officer is a very precarious one. When permanent secretaries are appointed, the first thing I tell them is that your position as permanent secretary is one that shouldn’t be celebrated, is one that should make you become even more cautious. Because even when somebody else has committed a crime, it is the Permanent Secretary that will be held liable for that. That is what the Procurement Act has done to permanent secretaries.
“We had a procurement retreat, where that (jailed permanent secretaries) was talked about in very great detail. I think it’s called precarious liability, when even somebody else commits a crime it is the Permanent Secretary that will be held responsible that is what the Procurement Act says today.
“And that is why even the female Permanent Secretary (a former Perm sec at the Ministry of Interior, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia jailed in respect of the charges of fraud arising from the conduct of the botched Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise in 2014) because we had to get the details of the judgment so that we could examine it and see where permanent secretaries should be more careful.
“And we saw that even the judge said there was no intent to defraud the government by the permanent secretary. But because the Procurement Act was not followed as it stipulated, and the Bureau of Public Procurement also wrote that the Procurement Act was not followed in detail.
“So those are the issues that we face and we are learning lessons from all those cases, I think that is the most important thing. When things happen we should learn lessons from them, and be more careful. And that is what we have done.
“We had a retreat, where we dissected those judgments. And we actually learnt a lot of lessons from that. Because I actually went to speak with some of those permanent secretaries (jailed) and the impression they gave is that looking back now, maybe they should even have retired when those things were happening and that would have been much better for them than going through all they have gone through.
“So we are learning lessons from all those things as a body of permanent secretaries. And the good thing is that the permanent secretaries have now are not transactional permanent secretaries anymore. They’re transformative, permanent secretaries. And I’m sure that we will not have any of these problems with any of the permanent secretaries today.”