President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reportedly directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to halt further payments to the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government until further notice.
As part of the President’s plan to take firm control of his Administration and ongoing reforms of the sector, the Presidential order was reportedly issued before the CBN boss, Godwin Emefiele was suspended and handed over to the Department of State Services for further action. According to reports, the directive was given immediately after President Tinubu assumed office to ensure accountability in the MDAs and to prevent looting of government treasury.
The source confirmed that the directive was clear and total, with no exception. Following this development, the MDAs have placed a total embargo on payments to their creditors until further notice, making it difficult for them to operate as they have no money coming from the government or the CBN. A Director General of a Federal Government Agency, stated that the directive had grounded operations for the second week, as they had no money to run their operations.
President Tinubu’s aapproval to suspend some officials in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, including the Assistant Director in charge of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), for alleged salary padding created another wave of relief among the public. The Assistant Director, along with other officials, was alleged to have connived to inflate the salaries of some lower-level staff.
The salary padding racket was discovered by top level officer in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation when a level 7 officer, whose salary should have been around N60,000, was paid over N400,000, which was the salary range of a Director. The source claims the fraud had been ongoing for some time among a few civil servants in different MDAs with the IPPIS office at the OAGF as the epicentre.
Several civil servants, including those from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, were suspended for alleged salary padding on the IPPIS. The suspended officers were identified and placed on suspension pending investigation.
The source further added that “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”