Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has insisted that there is no going back on the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in the public service.
This is coming on the heels of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) insistence to embark on a strike action despite government backing down on its earlier decision to pay January salaries via IPPIS platform.
The office of the Account-General of the Federation had asked the Minister of Finance not to release funds meant for January salaries to members of the academic community, saying payments would be made through the IPPIS platform.
The union insisted they are mobilising for a strike, citing not only the Federal Government’s threat over IPPIS but the delay in honouring the agreement reached with the union in February 2019.
The Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said that government’s resolve to implement the IPPIS policy stems from the belief that public service payroll system would be sanitised with enhanced data integrity.
She said this at the opening of five-day induction training for newly recruited officers at grade level 07-10.
The Head of Service said: “Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, we have commenced the process for the complete implementation of the Human Resource Module of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in the Public Service.
“The Module is designed to improve efficiency in the payroll system as well as enhance data integrity, eliminate ghost workers and consolidate staff records and management. Hence, with the steady transformation of the service to operate a more productive system, change is inevitable.”
She added: “Following the successful activation of the human resource module in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, five other Ministries namely, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Aviation, Transport, Petroleum Resources and Science and Technology are set to come on board, after which more MDAs of government will be visited for implementation till the HR module is activated service-wide.”
Meanwhile, Yemi-Esan said induction training programme for 700 civil servants was to improve performance and efficiency.
The five-day training, organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, held at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, (PSIN), Kubwa, Abuja.
Declaring the workshop open, Yemi-Esan urged the trainees to take advantage of the programme to acquire relevant skills needed to function in a global economy.
According to her, failure to induct thousands of civil servants in the past has resulted in them shifting emphasis away from theories to hands-on skills that will differentiate them from the pack.
She added that induction course marks the restoration of the service-wide induction training that has been suspended for about seven years now for lack of adequate funding.
Yemi-Esan listed the benefits of induction programmes to include; saving of a lot of time and resources; reduction of employee turnover; improvement of operational efficiency; making the employee feel valued; and the establishment and promotion of good organizational communication among other benefits.
The Head of Service added that even though it would indeed be most gratifying to see some of those at the training here rise to become seasoned directors, permanent secretaries or even the head of service or any other prominent office in the country, “however, these would not be handed over to you on a platter of gold.”
Yemi-Esan added: “If you have been abreast of developments in our contemporary public service, you will appreciate that the various reforms being introduced to transform the service are systematically taking root and if you are to key into the new system, you must embrace the virtues of hard work and integrity.”
Yemi-Esan also warned the workers to eschew negative attitude that could hinder efficiency and productivity in the service.
“I’m equally delighted to further inform that after years of little or no action in service-wide Induction Training, as a result of funding constraints among other challenges, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is finally resuscitating Mandatory Induction Training Programmes for all newly recruited officers. This is in line with the Federal Government’s determination to support this new initiative to institutionalize and sustain Capacity development.
“My charge to you is to ignore such attitude or mindset and work hard, go the extra mile, engage in self-development, acquire skills, be confident, be courageous and don’t forget to ask questions or seek clarification in the course of your duties having in mind always that you are a talent, Nigeria’s most valuable asset and your best is yet to be discovered.
Earlier in her remarks, Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office (SPSO) in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, noted that the seven years during which no induction was conducted had left a backlog of over 5,000 un-inducted New officers.
“As you may recall the last service-wide Induction training for federal civil servants was conducted as far back as 2013 which now leaves a backlog of over 5000 un-inducted new officers in the service. With the resuscitation of Induction programme as we are kick-starting with this pilot training of 700 officers the OHCSF is now determined to sustain the training by first clearing the backlog and subsequently by regularly inducting new entrants within 6 months of their appointment,” Ajani noted.