The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has inaugurated a Presidential Technical Committee to review the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) and the Single Treasury Account (TSA).
Pantami, who revealed that the approval for the inauguration was given by President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to serve as secretary.
According to him, the members of the committee which will be supervised by his office, include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan; Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Aghughu Adolphus; the chairman, Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa; Director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Abdullahi; Director-general, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi; Managing director, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar and the chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Ekpo Nta, Esq,.
Pantami further said that the technical committee has been mandated by the president to ensure the review of the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of these systems while advising the president on the best methods to improve them.
Giving a brief historical overview of the IPPIS, GIFMIS and the TSA which were deployed in 2006, 2012 and 2015, respectively, Pantami hinted that the provisions of the NITDA Act 2007 were not observed and adhered to.
“At the time they were deployed, the provisions of NITDA, Act 2007, section A, of setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions were not followed. For this reason, these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as required by law and many other government policies,” he added.
Pantami noted that although IPPIS saved the government N120billion and TSA saved over N10 trillion since their deployments, both systems needed to be improved upon. “These figures show us that the government has recorded some major gains with their deployment but there is a need to improve on them, particularly with the recent allegations about these systems being exploited by evil people to siphon money.”
Assuring the government’s commitment to ensuring the systems are of high quality, Pantami noted that errors have been detected in the processes of IPPIS when subjected to reviews by NITDA.
He further disclosed that GIFMIS and the TSA will be subjected to critical reviews, to erode all forms of leakages, errors and challenges in their processes.
While urging the institutions managing the three systems to give maximum support and cooperation to the committee, the minister mentioned that any institution that does otherwise would be sanctioned by the president.
“In the approval and the directives by Mr. President, it is clear that all government institutions that manage these three systems – IPPIS, GIFMIS, and TSA – must give unlimited access to the committee to ensure that they come up with a very strong recommendation to Mr. President for approval,” he said.
Pantami admonished the committee to carry out its assignments judiciously by testing the processes and providing recommendations or criticism where necessary.
“We must identify where the challenges are, if any, and see how these systems can be enhanced technically so that we would be able to consolidate the gains we have achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve more.”
Other dignitaries at the inauguration were the permanent secretary, career management office, Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Marcus Olaniyi; Board chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Adeolu Akande; Board chairman, Nigerian Postal Service, Barr. Maimuna Yaya Abubakar; Executive vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta; National commissioner and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, among many others.