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FG Saves N10trn in TSA Operation – Arabi

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi has disclosed that the Federal Government has saved about N10 trillion in the years that the Single Treasury Account (TSA) has been in operation.

Arabi said this while speaking at the 43rd Session of the Ministerial Media Briefing, organized by the Presidential Media Team, yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Giving key updates on the performance of the Bureau in the execution of its core mandate, particularly in ensuring the full implementation of reform policies and programmes for the government, he also said that introduction of Integration Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) has led to the reduction of the Federal Civil Service personnel to 720,000.

According to him, the IPPIS led to the weeding out of about 70,000 ghost workers from the service.

Speaking with video slides, he said: “On the next slide, these are some of the benefits that we think government or Nigerians have benefited out of the work that we have been doing in collaboration with other agencies of government, where they with the introduction of IPPIS about 70,000 ghost workers have been eliminated from the payroll.

“We have a one shot opportunity to look at IPPIS and say, as at today, we have 720,000 public servants working for Nigeria.

“This is a great achievement which I think we need to encode and we need to get it celebrated by all of us. We’ve been able to reduce more than N220 billion wastage through wrong management of IPPIS on payroll by ministries, departments and agencies of government. We have reduced the budget deficits and change the budget composition.

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“We have succeeded in getting the Treasury Single Account deployed in all ministries, departments and agencies of government. Challenges have come in that implementation at the initial stage, but we are overcoming that and government is able to save over N10 trillion over the years because whatever you’re generating now goes into a Treasury Single Account that is managed by somebody else, not you.

“And government, especially at the top is always able to see what has come into our Treasury Single Account today and what has gone out of that. So planning has been simplified. Budgeting has been simplified.

“Our distribution and allocation of resources have been simplified and streamlined.”

Arabi said as part of the reforms in the service, the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIGMIS) has made government business paperless and “it has reduced man to man contact and processing, payments in ministries, departments and agencies of government.”

“Transparency has been improved. A lot of things are done even outside the office. But the most important thing is the ability given to central agencies, office of Accountant General of the Federation, and the Ministry of Finance to see what is happening in all ministries, departments and agencies of government because GIFMIS is not controlled by the agencies.

‘It is controlled by the central agencies, but every activity you are doing under GIFMIS somebody, is watching you and is monitoring that activity. This is a great achievement for us and for all of you and for all Nigerians.

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“There is better access to information on finances in this country. Whatever you do, somebody’s watching you and somebody can request and get those information. International rating agencies standards and co have more confidence in Nigeria now because they have access to information and data that they were not able to get before this time.

“Again, this is a breakdown of some of the benefits of the reforms that we’ve been driving,” the DG said.

 On deductions blamed on the IPPIS, which has been a source of friction especially between government  and universities unions, Arabi affirmed that deductions just do not occur on their own except where loans had been obtained.

“On deductions and complaints around IPPIS, you know, we have just started from the pilot ministries, six. We went to 10 then because of the push by the international community, especially the development partners, who are really eager to get Nigeria at that level at par with other nations we went through.

“I remember, I’m privileged to be part of the team that started the discussion around IPPIS and were able to get different sectors of the Public Service to come and have meetings and discussions with us to understand their various cadre within the field, their pay structure; their responsibilities and all these have been taken care of.

“Along the line, there are some new creations and I think there are some omissions, which government is addressing, but I would not take this man’s complain that their deductions like that, it cannot be arbitrary.

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“For every deduction that is done, there is justification for that. And if there are problems, they are identified and complaints I made, that will be rectified. and quite a number of our colleagues, some may have taken lot of loans that have committed themselves, deductions are being made left, right and center.

“So, I want to assure you and the person that complained to you, that government is addressing some of these problems,” Arabi explained.

The Director-General revealed that government is silently implementing aspects of the Oronsanye Report on Civil Service Reforms.

Arabi said government will soon make an announcement on the implementation of the White Paper.

“On Oronsaye white paper government has been working around that. You are aware that it was implemented in good time. And over the years, there have been changes. More agencies and commissions were created which makes it necessary for government to look back and say okay, between Oronsanye White Paper and today, how many more agencies have been created?

“So, that was why those committees were created. But beyond that, I want to tell you that some silent aspects of the report are being implemented silently. We’re hoping that very soon we will conclude on that and the major activity will come. So, just wait for the announcement from the secretary to the government of the Federation, who is the chairman of the implementation committee of the white paper,” the BPSR boss said.

Economy

TCN Confirms Shut Down of National Grid

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Wednesday, said that the national grid has been shutdown following the industrial dispute by the two in-house unions in the company.

This is contained in a statement by the TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah in Abuja.

Mbah said that the grid was shut down by the unions even as effort was being made to resolve the issues upon which the action was called.

Mbah said that the incident occurred at 3:01p.m. on Wednesday,  after several 330kV transmission lines and 33 Kilo Volt (kV) feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the members of the unions.

”This resulted in generation-load imbalance and multiple voltage escalations at critical stations and substations.

She said that this was  coming weeks after the company  had come out of  hectic grid management regime, occasioned by paucity of generation that lingered  for a couple of months.

”Coupled with the stream of interventions by the Ministry of Power and other stakeholders in the Value Chain,grid generation (at Peak) had reached 4,830.69 Megawatts (MW) as at  Tuesday, “she said.

Mbah said that in spite of the setback, TCN was set to restore the grid as quickly as possible.

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The spokesperson said that the Ministries of Power and Labour & Employment,  were currently meeting with the union officials in order to resolve the issues.

She said that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry appreciates the understanding of our customers within and outside the country.

Mbah said that enduring mechanisms are being instituted to avert a situation of this kind going forward.(NAN)

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Economy

Naira Gains after 2-day Loss to Dollar

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The Naira on Wednesday appreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window, exchanging at N429.38.

The figure represented a gain of 0.16 per cent compared with the N430.67 it exchanged for the dollar on Tuesday.

The open indicative rate closed at N427.58 to the dollar on Wednesday.

An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N429.

38.

The Naira sold for as low as N417 to the dollar within the day’s trading.

A total of N120.46 million was traded in foreign exchange at the official investors and exporters window on Wednesday. (NAN)

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Economy

AEDC Attributes Power Interruption to Strike by Electricity Union

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution (AEDC)  has attributed power interruption experienced across its franchise areas to the ongoing Industrial issues in the sector.

The management of AEDC in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said that the industrial issues were between the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN).

“ We will like to assure our valued customers that all stakeholders are working hard to ensure mutual and amicable settlement and power is restored forthwith.

The AEDC, however, thanked its customers for their patient and understanding.

The  Chairman of FCT of NUEE, Mr Godfery Abah, told the newsmen in Abuja, that a notice signed by its General Secretary, Mr Joe Ajaero, had directed its members to stop work effective Aug. 17.

Abah said that the action followed the directive by the TCN Board that all Principal Managers in acting capacity going to Assistant General Managers must appear for a promotion interview.

He said that ”this directive is in contravention of our Conditions of Service and Career Progression Paths, and unilaterally done without the relevant Stakeholders.

“Another grievance is the stigmatisation of staff from the office of the Head of Service, (HoS) of the Federation from working in other areas in the Power Sector.

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“And, the refusal of the Market Operator to fund the payment of entitlement of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Ex-PHCN, Staff as agreed in December 2019 agreement after an industrial action by the union, ” he  said.(NAN)

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