Special Report: IPPIS worse scam ever, Nigeria Workers recount

Nigerian workers continue to recount how Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPISP) created by the Nigerian Government to address fraud in the country’s civil service management, has since turned out to be the worse form of scam in the country’s history.

MAWA FOUNDATION in this Special Report spoke to civil servants, who described the IPPIS as the worse form of scam in the nation’s history.

A senior Lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), in the Political Science Department, while speaking to MAWA, described IPPIS as a huge fraud that cannot be compared with any known scam.

“IPPIS is a very big fraud packaged by some individual to defraud Nigerian”, the UNN Senior Lecturer told MAWA.

Justifying why he feels the IPPIS is a fraud, the university Don, says two weeks ago some of his colleagues were paid a double salary.

“The way government packaged IPPIS, they made us believe that it will bring effective sanitation to the corruption in public service, only for us to later found out that a group of persons will sit in their office and be sending salaries to whoever they like,” the senior university lecturer told MAWA.

The UNN lecturer told MAWA that with IPPIS, it is difficult for one to know his salary as workers are paid variations amount.

“As I am talking to you, I do not know my salary, in a month you get an amount, and in another month you get a different amount, so I cannot say this is my exact salary, it is whatever you get in a month that is your salary”

“There is no point discussing IPPIS, it is the greatest act of criminality, put by some individuals to defraud Nigeria, and they are defrauding us very well, the amount deducted from my salary without justification is over N40k,” the senior UNN lecturer told MAWA.

He accused the IPPIS of slotting names into the platform and diverting funds, he, however, told MAWA that the only thing the IPPIS needs to insert somebody’s name is your Bank Verification Number (BVN).

“The IPPIS officials sit in their office and insert people names into the payroll, the only thing they need is your BVN and the job is done,” the university Don said.

Another senior official in the department of finance and account at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (ABU), in an interview with MAWA FOUNDATION, testified that there is a huge corruption that takes place in the IPPIS.

The official says the IPPIS do not effectively pick salary variation sent to them by the university. He disclosed that in the month of June 2021, some workers in ABU were paid a double salaries. A development he told MAWA that when the university sought an explanation, the IPPIS office said there was a mixed up in their system that triggered double payment.

The ABU official added that there are some workers that do not get salaries at all, and even when they complain to the IPPIS office, they get salaries months after, and in some cases, some of the affected staff do not get salaries.

He, however, disclosed to MAWA that in some instances, they have received names of workers who are not ABU staff sent to the school by IPPIS.

“On many occasions, we have received names from another university been included on our payroll, and this exposes the corruption in the IPPIS”, the ABU official told MAWA.

“Every day in our office, we treat issues arising from salary and sent to IPPIS, they do not usually correct them, and that causes delay and in some cases salary denial,” the official said.

Another staff of ABU told MAWA that N5k was deducted from his salary by the IPPIS over a loan he never applied.

“When I got salary alert, I realized that N5k has been deducted from my money, and when I sought an explanation, I was told, it was for a loan deduction. I did not collect any loan from anybody”, he told MAWA.

In a similar narrative, a Senior Reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while sharing his experience of IPPIS, told MAWA the platform is nothing but a huge scam.

“IPPIS is a serious fraud, my younger sister works in Radio Nigeria, for over a year now, she is collecting less than half of her salary, she has complained severally through the IPPIS front desk officer and nothing has been done,” NAN Senior Reporter told MAWA.

The NAN reporter told MAWA that the corruption in IPPIS is too endemic, adding that sometimes, you will see N5k deducted from your salary without explanation.

“The corruption in IPPIS is too endemic, sometimes, you will see N5k deducted from your salary without explanation these are some of the issues federal workers are facing”, the NAN reporter said.

Speaking how corrupt practice is been perpetrated in the IPPIS, the NAN Reporter narrated how the operators of the platform intimidate agencies of the government to give them job slots or have their salary withheld and staff payroll distorted.

A senior official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who spoke to MAWA in Lokoja the Kogi State capital described the IPPIS as a huge scam that cannot be compared to any kind. The official accused the IPPIS of reducing to pay them their due salary by deducting it.

The Civil Defence official told MAWA that in January 2019, they got money from IPPIS that is not their salary and could not be justified. But, in the subsequent month, their salaries were seized on the account that they took loans. And, this is even as he said none of his colleagues applied for any loan let alone getting approval for such loans. He however wondered why they will be given a loan they never applied for.

“How do you get a loan you didn’t apply for, how is that possible, the IPPIS guys have a lot of explanation to make to workers”, the Civil Defence official said.

A former staff of the National Council for Arts and Culture, in an interview with MAWA, narrated how the IPPIS, colluded with the agency to insert workers on the payroll. He, however, disclosed that when the deal backfired, some workers were sacked, an action he said was described by the agency senior officials as a fraud that cannot be allowed to stand.

“I am not telling you what I do not know, IPPIS officials collude with government agencies to populate names of workers, when we had a problem with Art and Culture, I paid N60K to a staff who will bribe IPPIS guys to insert my name”

Four civil servants and a former banker, Anthony Ogar, Olarenwaju Ladipo, Samuel Enwerem, and Joshua Omachonu in 2020 were dragged to court by the Federal Government over N140 million fraud through the manipulation of IPPIS and inserted ghost workers.

Also, in 2019, a Nigerian Anti-Corruption, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) arrested 59 Federal Directors over alleged corruption of diverting N3 billion through the manipulation of IPPIS using ghost workers.

IPPIS, a Department under the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation is responsible for payment of salaries and wages directly to Government employee’s bank account.

Although the government claims the initiative will address the corruption and eliminate ghost workers in the federal civil service, the Nigerian experience has since shown, rather than eradicate corruption, IPPIS has been used to carry out a huge corruption.

MAWA FOUNDATION could not reach out to the IPPIS Department for a response as a telephone number 09087005735 published on its website has since stopped working.

An official of the IPPIS official who does not want his name mentioned, while speaking to MAWA, acknowledged that there are issues with the platform, but said the government is working to ensure all challenges are addressed and the best services rendered.

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