Health Ministry Workers Groan Over Exclusion From Payroll

About 108 health workers at the Federal Ministry of Health have raised alarm over their exclusion from the Integrated Payroll and 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.
They 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 obtained on Thursday, Osarenoma Uwaifo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, made a case for the biometric enrollment of the workers into the payroll system.
The memo dated December 18, 2017, was addressed to the FCSC Chairman, Chief Joseph Remi Akande.
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.
“You may wish to know that a total number of 166 officers were recruited and deployed to the ministry. These officers were all authenticated by the Federal Civil Service Commission (Annex ii).
“Out of the number quoted above, a total number of 147 were sent to the commission for biometric capturing, leaving a balance of 108 officers not captured since 2014. It is pertinent to state that these officers have not received salaries since they were employed in 2014.
“It would therefore be appreciated if these officers whose appointments the commission had authenticated are captured to enable Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to commence the process of enrollment and payment of the salaries,” Uwaifo stated.
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.

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