An audit report on Federal MDAs’ salaries and emoluments published by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation showed that a total sum of N195.94 billion was overpaid as personnel costs to employees enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in 2016.

The report, which was submitted to the National Assembly in June this year through a letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly, with reference, C/AR.2016/CONF/VOL.1/01, reflected the deficiencies of the IPPIS in totally preventing frauds in the nation’s public finance system.

According to the latest report, while the IPPIS had a total of N457.3bn as actual performance for personnel costs in respect of the 450 MDAs, the amount released by the Funds Department in the OAGF totalled N421.28bn, representing a N36.03bn variance.

The audit report also indicated that the office of the Auditor General stated that despite observations by auditors and after necessary reconciliations had been made, the audit reflected “irregular balance of N656.43bn being presented to us as the amount released by the IPPIS, meaning an over funding of the IPPIS by N195.94bn out of N460.49bn stated as the amount paid.”

While the Auditor General, Anthony Ayine, stated that his office was unable to verify the accuracy of the balances, it was reported that instances of the IPPIS paying more than the amount released by the Funds Department in the OAGF and extra-budgetary expenditure further showed the weakness in budgeting and in accounting for expenditure.

The report also stated that there were lapses in budgetary provisions for salaries and wages.

For instance, the audit report noted that the actual personnel costs of some MDAs for the 2016 fiscal year when compared with personnel cost budget revealed extra budgetary expenditure of N408.7bn.

In its analysis of the extra budgetary expenditure, the report stated that for the MDAs under the administrative sector, the sum of N37.27bn was approved for them, noting further that the MDAs incurred a total of N55.41bn as actual personnel cost, thus resulting in extra budgetary spending of N18.14bn.

According to the report, for the MDAs in the economic sector, the report stated that they were given budgetary approval of N165bn but ended up spending N517.72bn thus, leading to excess expenditure of N362.7bn.

Similarly, the audit findings showed that the MDAs under the law and justice sector got budgetary approval for N710.05m but spent N13.96bn, leading to N13.25bn.over-budgeted expense

The report showed that while the social sector MDAs got budgetary approval for N94.65bn, they ended up incurring personnel costs of N119.24bn. This, it noted, led to excess spending of N24.59bn during the 2016 fiscal period.

It reads in part: “During the examination of salaries and wages component of the Statement of Financial Performance, the following observations were made.

“The actual personnel cost of some MDAs for the year 2016, when compared with the personnel cost budget, revealed extra budgetary expenditure of N408,708,433,835.25.

“It was also observed that 12 MDAs had actual personnel cost for the financial year without any approved budget, which resulted in seeming extra budgetary expenditure of N6,049,260,633.08.”

The 12 MDAs that incurred personnel costs without budgetary approval are Military Pension Board, N2.08m; Foreign Mission (Tel Aviv Christian Pilgrims), N143.68m; Permanent Mission Caracas, N54.54m; and Permanent Mission of D-8 Secretariat in Turkey, N60.58m.

Others are, Consular Mission in Cameroon, N35.94m; Police Pension Board, N41.88m; Public Complaints Commission, N2.79bn; Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms, N5m; and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, N11.46m.

Also, the Transmission Company of Nigeria paid the sum of N129.2m as salaries without budgetary approval; while the Kaduna Polytechnic and Institute of Child Health in Benin paid N2.76bn and N195,000 as salaries without approval, respectively.

“Some of the figures were not credible. For example, FAAN shows personnel costs for the year of N11,461,159.02; the Military Pension Board shows N2,088,000; while the Institute of Child Health shows N195,000,” the report added.

The IPPIS, which began in 2007 with seven MDAs, is one of the Federal Government’s public finance reforms aimed at determining the actual strength of its workers and help with budgeting and annual planning.

It is designed to undertake human resources management activities from recruitment to separation, payroll and pension processing.