A presidential steering committee to check for irregularities in the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS), and the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) was launched on Friday by the Federal Government through the Minister of Communications and the Digital Economy, Prof.
Pantami stated during the inauguration ceremony that there are technical issues with the systems that need to be fixed.
He claimed that the committee's sole responsibility is to suggest fixes for any systemic flaws that could allow bad actors to siphon off tax dollars.
I am writing on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari. I am to inaugurate the Presidential technical committee.
"I will officially launch the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), and Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) technical presidential committees.
This technical committee has been mandated by Mr. President through a letter written by my humble self, requesting his approval to review some of the technical processes and systems deployed in government.
“This committee will serve as a president's committee with the mandate of ensuring the review of the strengths of these systems and the challenges or weaknesses they pose to Mr. President on how to improve, particularly if there are leakages that are being exploited by evil people."
“The issue came about on the 19th of July 2022. We had a meeting with Mr. President along with other ministries where some technical issues and some challenges were discussed. In the course of the discussion, I made a presentation there, and then Mr. President directed me to formalize it so that he would approve it for further implementation.
Historically, as we all know, these three ICT systems, for the first one (IPPIS), the process of its deployment commenced in 2006, while for GISFMIS, it was deployed in 2012.
“While TSA, the process commenced in 2015. At the time they were deployed, the provision of the NITDA act 2006 under section A, requiring the standardization of ICT deployment in federal public institutions was not followed.
Because of this, these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as encouraged by law and many other government policies.
However, in spite of that, many achievements have been recorded by their deployment. For example, based on the report from the relevant institutions of government, the IPPIS, saved the government over N120 billion naira. While the TSA saved over N10 trillion naira for the government,
“These records show that at least the government has recorded some gains from their deployment, particularly with the recent allegations coming up that these systems are being exploited by evil people where they siphon money, and we read these allegations from time to time."
It is because of this that, after my submission to Mr. President, these allegations should not be ignored and we must identify where the challenges are, if any, and see how these systems can be enhanced technically so that we are able to consolidate the gains achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve many more successes. It is because of this that we converged here under the Presidential technical committee, which is going to be inaugurated.
“The committee is for ministers and CEOs. However, looking at the technical nature of the work, Mr. President has approved our setting up of a technical committee that will do the work, and that committee will be supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and other relevant government institutions where their role is mentioned.
“While NITDA, looking at it’s mandate will serve as the secretariat. In the approval and the directive given by Mr. President, it is clearly mentioned that all government institutions that manage these three systems (IPPIS, GIFMIS, and TSA) must give unlimited access to the committee to ensure that they come up with a very strong recommendation to Mr. President for approval.
"Any institution that fails to give access will be reported to Mr. President immediately, and in addition to that recommendation, a punishment is going to be recommended to Mr. President for implementation," he stated.
Members of the committee are Chief Executives, Director Generals of Agencies, including the National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), Galaxy Bankbone, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission, Bureau of Public Service and Reforms (BPSR), and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy(FMoDE).
Recall that federal civil servants, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others have faulted the implementation of IPPIS, TSA, and GIFMIS over irregular deductions.
NewsDirect learnt that the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Idris Ahmed, is currently facing persecution over the diversion of funds from TSA and IPPIS systems.
However, the Minister, Pantami, assured that recommendations and advice from the inaugurated special committee would cleanse the systems from the manipulation of corrupt people.