By Uche Amunike
There has been rising apprehension as over 17,000 civil servants have been delisted by the federal government for not complying with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information syste (IPPIS) verification exercise that has been ongoing for over five years and carried out by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF).
Affected civil servants stand the risk of not being paid their salary due to the reports that their records are not properly incorporated into the IPPIS. Some of them have, however, argued that they obeyed the instructions and complied with the verification exercise and yet, were delisted.
In his reaction, the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Tommy Etim Okon, reassured all the affected civil servants to remain calm as steps had been taken to resolve the issue.
Speaking, when he tried to address the concerns raised by the new development, Okon noted that the discrepancies they complained about were actually identified in the IPPIS verification process, as even names of Personal Assistants (PAs), Special Advisers (SAs) and sometimes even Ministers who had served in consecutive administrations, were detected in the portal. He, however, faulted some affected civil servants that refused to comply with the IPPIS verification exercise while it lasted.
He further stated that the Office of the Head of Service had been kind enough to provide a one week window for all the affected civil servants with valid claims to put their records straight, while advising those who were mistakenly omitted from the portal to submit their documents to the designated e-mail address for further assistance.
HIs words: ‘We called your attention to what we heard or information at our disposal just a few days ago, we received information that over 17,000 workers in the core civil service did not carry out the online verification which was done by the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.’
‘Quickly, we swung into action to interface with the government through the HoSF and by that singular act, there was need for us to talk to our members and that informed the reasons, because we have seen a lot of apprehensions from our members, receiving several phone calls, then we also looked at the timing because of the social economic challenges.’
‘We went deep into the document where we also realised that even in some government agencies, we realised that names of PAs, SAs and some Ministers were included in the IPPIS portal, whereas those people were political office holders in their own rights in various regimes’, he stated.
He also made an appeal to the Head of Service of the Federation to consider extending the deadline in order to accommodate people with legitimate grievances, while urging those affected to quickly utilize the opportunity.
His words: ‘You know it is always said that when you want to kill a dog, you give it a bad name, that maybe justifies the inclusion of SAs, PAs to the bad name in quotes. They came up with claims that civil servants don’t come to work, they just sit down at home and collect salaries, we said capital No to that.’