Oil workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have raised the alarm over threats from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to stop salaries of its members come October 2019.
The threat, according to the unions, was received through a circular with reference number OAGF/IPPIS/93/1/87 in September 2018.The unions, which claimed to had put all implementing agencies of government on notice, also vowed to withdraw their services without any further delay.
In a letter by the unions and addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, recalled a circular by the OAGF for the enrolment of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were not on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) scheme.
The workers, who frowned at enrolling at the payment system noted that due to already existing Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform, which is run by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is already serving a similar purpose.They also hinted on the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), whose responsibility it is to audit the nominal and payroll of agencies as recently emphasised by the Minister of Finance.
They argued that the IPPIS that resulted to series of meetings, whereby a technical committee was set up by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to assess the union’s concerns regarding the implementation of the IPPIS, was yet to meet for over a year.
According to the oil workers, based on the observation of contradiction and repetition of role from circular, they have directed their members in the effected regulatory agencies not to provide any information concerning their personnel payment and allowances to the Accountant-General’s office for the purpose of IPPIS, until the technical committee meets
“We are also putting all the implementing agencies of government on notice that if our salaries are stopped without clarification of the issues raised, we will be left with no other option than to withdraw our services without any further notice.”