Employment racketeering: Reps to investigate alleged malfeasance in IPPIS


In response to alleged wrongdoing in the administration of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the House of Representatives has established an Ad hoc committee.

The committee has been tasked with investigating allegations of employment racketeering and the purported mishandling of personnel recruitment across various government agencies.

This decision was made following the unanimous approval of a motion presented by Wole Oke (PDP-Osun) during the Wednesday plenary session.

During his presentation of the motion, Mr. Oke highlighted that the Federal Government is responsible for numerous agencies, making it the largest employer of labor in Nigeria.

He emphasized that the budget of the Federal Government is significantly influenced by the overhead costs of public institutions.

According to Mr. Oke, recruitment into the public service has historically served as a means for the Federal Government to implement social interventions, promote societal stability, alleviate poverty, and ensure nationwide representation.

The lawmaker stressed the importance of effectively managing the recruitment and payment processes for civil servants and public officers.

“Despite the crucial role played by the Federal Government, the recruitment and employment processes in the civil service have become riddled with endemic corruption,” he stated.

Mr. Oke noted that public institutions have discontinued the practice of advertising job vacancies. In cases where advertisements are still published, the positions are already predetermined and offered to the highest bidders.

In other words, most public institutions now engage in the sale of employment positions, disregarding the qualifications and capabilities of the applicants to perform well in their roles.

This situation poses a significant risk and has contributed to the underperformance of the Nigerian public service, he remarked.

Mr. Oke pointed out that from the 1960s to the 1990s, Nigeria had a highly skilled and professional cohort of public servants, resulting in excellent service delivery.

According to Mr. Oke, this situation has undergone a significant change primarily due to fraudulent practices, abuses, corruption, and financial motives involved in the recruitment process and the quality of recruits within public institutions.

The introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was an attempt by the Federal Government to address issues such as the existence of ghost workers, who do not actually perform any duties but still receive salaries. The aim was to identify and eliminate these ghost workers from the payroll system.

The lawmaker alleged that certain 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 introduce ghost workers and illicitly receive payments through unofficial channels. They have also found ways to bypass the Bank Verification Number (BVN) technology.

These practices result in the Federal Government losing billions of Naira every month in payments to non-existent workers and illegal payments to various civil servants across different levels.

Mr. Oke expressed concern that the current state of affairs not only hampers the government’s ability to obtain value for money but also affects the quantity and quality of personnel in recruitment and payment processes. Furthermore, even legitimate staff members who were legally employed face the issue of not receiving salaries for months or even years.

He emphasized the urgency of addressing these challenges to prevent a decline in the morale of civil servants and the continued financial loss caused by payments to ghost workers and unqualified personnel.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the house, Benjamin Kalu, instructed the committee to investigate the different government agencies and tertiary institutions involved and submit a report within four weeks for further legislative action..

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