Abuja – Finance Minister and Coordinator for the Econmy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says the Federal Government has saved N118bn since the introduction of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS).
She said that the government had also weeded out 45,000 ghost workers from its payroll through the system.
The minister said this in Abuja on Monday during her presentation at the ongoing accountability forum known as the 2013 Ministerial Platform.
She said that the system had been successful so far, adding that it had also helped to reduce the tendencies for corruption in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Okonjo-Iweala said that 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had been captured in the system and noted that the rest of the MDAs would be captured by the end of the year.
“We have to step away from the manual management of our finances, whereby for instance, for payment we use to send money in bulk to ministries to pay their staff, we have now put in place strict electronic platforms.
“The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management System is in place and it is allowing us to pay staff directly through biometric data means, we haven’t done all MDAs , we have done about 215 and this exercise has helped us weed out about 45,000 ghost workers and saved ourselves about N118 billion.“
She said that more funds would be saved and re-injected into other viable projects in the economy by the time all the MDAs were incorporated into the system.
The minister said that the present administration was committed to introducing initiatives that would make transactions amongst MDAs easier and reduce corruption in the system.
Okonjo-Iweala urged Nigerians to have faith in the present administration, noting that steady progress was being made in the various sectors of the economy.
He urged critics of the economy to cross check with the international rating agencies, noting that all the claims by government about growth in the economy had been validated internationally.
“All these as was said by the Minister of Information have been validated, all these things we are doing which amalgamates to underpin a stable economy have been validated outside.
“You don’t have to listen to me or Mr President or even Minister of Information; just check what the ratings agencies are doing.
“Even if you are critical of government you have to accept external evidence that we have a stable economy.’’
She said that the present administration had kept faith with Nigerians about the management of the SURE-P funds.
Iweala said that the Ministry of Finance has been transparent in the disbursement of the funds through a period publication of disbursement of the funds to different areas of the economy. (NAN)