Crisis rocks health ministry over omission of 108 workers from payroll

About 108 civil servants at the Federal Ministry of Health have raised alarm over the omission of their names from the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The workers alleged that their exclusion from the payroll by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has resulted in the non-payment of their salaries for 26 months.
Investigations show that those affected were among the 166 persons employed and posted by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) towards the end of 2014 following a recruitment exercise to fill vacancies in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
 Of the number, 39 persons categorised as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) awardees were captured and subsequently enrolled into the payroll.
However, some were dropped while the vast majority, numbering 108 were documented and posted to the Ministry of Heath, which accepted, authenticated their documents and issued them identity cards.
The disturbing coincidence is that the workers, including medical doctors, pharmacists and laboratory attendants among others, have been working for almost four years without salaries and other entitlements.
The workers, who pleaded for their identities not to be disclosed, shifted the blame to the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), FCSC and Ministry of Health for not ensuring their enrollment into the IPPIS even when there was evidence they were posted to the Health Ministry after authentication.
In particular, they said it was the HoSF that advertised for the positions and gave waiver to the FCSC to recruit the fresh candidates.
In a memo made available to National Daily, dated December 18, 2017 and addressed to the FCSC, Chief Joseph Remi Akande, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Osarenoma Uwaifo, made a case for the biometric enrollment of the workers into the payroll system.
Uwaifo, a former Director of Finance at the Office of the HoSF before he was promoted to permanent secretary, pleaded that the workers should be captured having been authenticated by FCSC.
The workers traced the genesis of the payroll palaver to when Mrs. Joan Ayo was the Chairman of FCSC and Alhaji Sulaiman Mustapha was the Permanent Secretary.
They also said the authentication was done by FCSC state commissioners who verified their states of origin.
However, they agreed that they became pawns in the politicisation that dogged the recruitment exercise carried out during the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The exercise was said to be skewed to favour a particular section of the country and in violation of the principle of federal character.
“That was eventually resolved by FCSC, which reviewed the list of 166 names to correct the lopsidedness. We have also been screened by the civil service commission,’’ they said.