The federal government says it spends N165 billion on salaries and allowances every month.
The minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, during a joint meeting with the security chiefs of paramilitary agencies under the ministry of interior on continuous audit and migration from manual to automated payment system.
The minister, who lamented the continuous leakages and wastages that characterized federal government’s payment system, said that the government can no longer afford such a huge amount of money which is characterized by continuous leakages and wastages in the prevailing circumstances.
Adeosun said that the meeting was a continuation of audit meeting that started last week, aimed at bring all paramilitary agency under the ministry of Interior into the automated payment system, as it concerns salaries and allowances.
According to her, the move was in line with the objective of Presidential directive that everybody working under the federal government should be enrolled into the automated pay roll system by the end of the year.
‘‘Both teams are working very hard on how to meet the deadline. This meeting is really on how to discuss the modalities and specifically, the number of allowances (non-credit allowances).
‘‘We have to make sure that those allowances are paid directly to those concerned and the best way to do that is by automating the pay roll system, which is linked to BVN, so that every payment will be going to individuals specifically, rather than withdrawing them.
‘‘If we are paying for risk allowances for either hazards or any other risk, it is very critical, such that the monies get to the real persons suffering the risk.
‘‘What we want to do is to make sure, everybody is connected to the automated system and get all the support necessary. It is very easier for agencies to be paid salaries with minimised leakages, and people understand what they are getting, for good financial control and transparency.
‘‘As you know, we spend N165bn every month on salaries and allowances and we have to check it and the first step to do that is to know, who are those we pay. With automated platform, we can trace these persons to make it more transparency.
‘‘We started that process and as we speak, the biometric data of personnel in the security agencies have been captured to ensure that they are not captured at random,’’ the minister said.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Interior, Mr Bassey Okon Akpanyung, who led the Service Chiefs, said since the meeting was a fall out a Presidential directive, they had no option than to comply.