Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FG to check payroll fraud through BVN

The federal government has said it is putting in place effective modalities through the use of Bank Verification Number, BVN, to help identify and check activities of ghost workers within the public sector.

The initiative which is aimed at addressing the rather slow pace of progress in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, will also curb the diversion of salaries to personal pockets, amongst other payroll fraud.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who recently made the revelation, said the scheme when fully implemented, will effectively streamline the IPPIS scheme for effective enrolment of government workers to the system.

She said already the government had successfully completed a pilot programme which used BVN details to identify all irregular entries on the payroll.

“We believe that the use of the BVN rather than requiring physical presentation as a first-line check on the integrity of our payroll is a cost-effective and efficient measure. This will accelerate the pace of enrolment on the IPPIS as well as identify anomalies, which can be flagged for further investigation and review.”

Adeosun who regretted that most government workers are yet to be captured in the IPPIS, five years after its introduction, with the reorganization of the system, government can now easily identify and sanction employee taking advantage of the loopholes in the payroll system to collect multiple salaries

“To date, despite over five years since initiation of the project, just 20 percent of public employees have actually been enrolled on the IPPIS due to a variety of reasons. As part of our public financial management reforms, we are committed to scrutinizing our largest single expense item. Personnel-related costs account for over 40 percent of government expenditure and must be prudently managed to ensure the validity of every payment.

“We are, therefore, determined that everyone who collects a salary from the federal purse is on the IPPIS system.”

She commended the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Plc for the successful completion of the BVN project where over 30million biometric and personal data records had been captured.

“The BVN provides a pool of reliable data against which records held on the Federal Government’s payroll will be cross-checked to identify inconsistencies, including duplicate payments, payments to dormant accounts, multiple payments to a single account holder, and non-matching of data provided, among others.

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