By Cecilia Ijuo
The National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC)), has urged Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) involved in wages review without recourse to the commision to desist from the act.
Dr Mojisola Kolade, NSIWC Commissioner in charge of Compensation said this at a two-day workshop organised for field and monitoring officers in Abuja on Monday.
The workshop is on execution of 2022 Manning
Level and Salary Inspection Projects of the NSIWC Compensation Department.
Kolade, while declaring the workshop open, expressed concern over cases of agencies of government involved in wage review without the knowledge of the commission.
The commissioner, who represented the Chairman of the commission, Mr Ekpo Nta, said “allegations of infractions and leakages in IPPIS is worrisome.”
She said reported cases of infractions had put financial burden on government and must be addressed.
The commissioner said there was the need to adequately fund the commission to handle issues of wage infractions by agencies of government, adding that the wages sector accounted for more than 30 per cent of government budget.
“As pointed out by some persons here, there are cases of aberrations going on on the IPPIS platform.
“Also, as we speak, there is an agency of government that has had its allowance upgraded without this commission knowing.
“So, the commission has to be adequately funded to enable it function effectively,” she said.
Kolade said the workshop was timely, adding that it came at a time when there was the need for adequate human capital to tackle challenges faced by government in the wages sector and other sectors.
Also speaking, Mr Chiadi Adighiogu, NSIWC Acting Director, Compensation Department, said the Act establishing the commission had empowered it to examine, streamline and recommend salary scale in the public service.
He said in furtherance to its mandate, the commission often carried out two capital projects, manning level and salary inspection.
Adighiogu said the two projects were critical in order to keep tab on activities of MDAs, particularly with regard to wages.
The acting director said the 2022 phase of the manning project, which was basically computation of cost implication of wage payment on government, had been set rolling.
According to him, the 2022 project is directed at capturing staff data in establishments under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
He said, “government, its agencies, researchers and the public are often bereft of comprehensive data on employment profile, wages and payroll of establishments in the public service).
“With global financial crisis threatening the world economy, the need for accurate data particularly in the area of salaries and wages cannot be overemphasised.”
On salary inspection, Adighiogu said the commission often made effort to keep to its inspection mandate, adding that it had assisted the commission to fish out MDAs involved in wage review without recourse to the commission.
He said, “the commission follows up with the monitoring of the implementation through salary inspections to ascertain the compliance of public service establishments).
“It is also through the project that the commission monitors implementation of the personnel cost of government, which will be N4.99 trillion in 2023.
“When infractions are observed, the commission writes the agency to desist from such.
“In some cases, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of affected agencies are held responsible for abuse of office, which is part of fighting corruption.”
The acting director said the 2022 salary inspection project of the commission would cover agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education.
Mr Chike Ogbechie, a resource person at the workshop, said in spite of the commission’s vital role as an agency of government, it was often undermined, particularly in the area of funding.
He said the commission had over time helped to detect infractions, thereby, blocking leakages, while playing critical role in prolonged issues with unions like Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Ogbechie urges engagement of the commission in IPPIS in view of recent allegations of infractions in the system.
He said, “one area that the commission should be engaged in is to be part of the operation of IPPIS.
“For instance, the integrity of the platform has been brought to question recently.
“It has been reported that IPPIS sometimes gives pay rise that is not due to some agencies and monies keep leaking from there.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that part of the activities for the two-day workshop are presentations on methodology of salary inspection, and approach to conducting manning level among others.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams