The Auditor – General for the Nigerian Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, on Monday raised the alarm that the embarrassing syndrome of Ghost Workers will continue in Nigeria if the current management of the Integrated Personnel & Payroll Information Systems was not immediately checked by the appropriate authorities.
Mr. Ukura who stated this in Abuja, while presenting the 2014 Annual Audit Report to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikashuwa, alleged that unidentified staff of Soft Alliance Limited, the software developers, have unhindered access to the data base and usually set up new users and change live data, from time to time.
He told reporters after presenting his report on Monday, that the password controls for access to IPPIS are not adequate because the database can be accessed remotely through the Internet. He said that the password to access the IPPIS database does not expire after 90 days hence making it possible for retired government officers to use their password after leaving office.
The Auditor-General also expressed concern that some user names and passwords were shared by several users and that most of them used words like “consultant’ or ‘technical” with no restriction on the number of sign-in attempts.
“The audit trail for the IPPIS has not been enabled and that as a result, it is not always possible to trace which user made particular inputs or changes. For example, fraudulent transactions cannot be traced to a particular user.
Application controls have not been activated in IPPIS to ensure, that gross pay is input from salary and allowance tables, rather than the actual amounts being input directly,” he said.
According to the Auditor-General, “Completeness checks are not activated to ensure that all necessary data like the bank account number, grade level, and job title, have been entered. Duplicate checks to determine that the bank account numbers or employee numbers are not used by more than one payee.
Reasonableness checks not activated so that an officer’s age less than 18 years can be still paid while user profiles are not adequately restricted, hence an officer in one MDA can amend the payroll data for other MDAs. The ability to create new users on the system is not adequately protected and restricted to a few super users”
Mr. Ukura lamented that his office had as a result of the anomalies, discovered that about =N=330m was paid to 300,000 without following approved salary scale while double payments of about N30m was paid within three months.
He added that the imperfections in the IPPIS system had made the country to lose another huge sum of money with the payment of =N=12m each to 40 members of staff who were not included in the payroll of the relevant MDAs.
Mr. Ukura also explained that 152 officers on IPPIS did not have personnel files in their MDAs while =N=193m was paid to unidentified persons.
Apart from this, he explained that =N=1.163m was paid to 596 employees with income tax deductions from April 2012 to September 2013 and that 2, 000 employees had no pension deductions.
Meanwhile, a copy of the 2014 audit report obtained by Voice of Nigeria, shows that total payments amounting to =N=73,5547,759,436.60, were made contrary to established purpose of the funds.
For instance, the report queried the rationale behind the release of =N=36,432,423,968.73, to the office of the National Security Adviser for the construction of dams, instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Another major observation in the report was the non-remittance of =N=3,234,577,666,791.35 revenue from domestic crude oil sales by the NNPC, which the auditors said should have gone into the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
In one of the recommendations on how to ensure a cost effective operation of Nigerian missions abroad, the report advised that the two storey building housing the Nigerian permanent mission to the United Nations located in New York, should be urgently rehabilitated before it becomes an embarrassment to the country.