The House of Representatives has constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate alleged malfeasance in managing the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the committee was also mandated to investigate alleged employment racketeering and mismanagement of personnel recruitment across government agencies.
This was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Wole Oke (PDP-Osun) at the plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion earlier, Oke said the overhead of public institutions constitutes a major component of the federal government’s budget.
The lawmaker underscored the importance of managing the process of recruitment and payment of civil servants and public officers.
“Public institutions have since stopped the process of advertising for jobs and vacancies. Even in the few instances where adverts are published, the slots are already commoditised and available for the highest bidders.
“In other words, most public institutions now sell employment positions, notwithstanding the qualification of the applicant and the ability of the applicant to perform optimally on the job,” he said.
Mr Oke said that between the 1960s to 1990s, Nigeria boasted of one of the best crops of public servants in the world and service delivery was at the highest level of professionalism.
According to him, this situation has since changed, largely because of the recruitment method and quality of recruitment into these public institutions.
The lawmaker alleged that some government agencies, in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, have devised methods to insert ghost workers and get payments through back-door channels.
“They have also crafted methods that are being used to circumvent the BVN technology. This state of affairs is costing the federal government billions of naira monthly in salary payments to ghost workers and illegal payments to several civil servants across cadres.
“Even more worrisome is that some staff members that have been legitimately employed have not received salaries for months and years, despite the fact that they were recruited legally into the Federal Civil Service.”
He stressed that the morale of civil servants would be dampened, and the federal government would continue to lose billions monthly if the issues were not addressed.
In his ruling, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu mandated the committee to investigate the various agencies of government and tertiary institutions and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.