We Have Started Paying Workers’ Arrears – AGF

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Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, says his office has began issuing mandates for payment of backlog of promotion arrears, salary shortfalls and other staff claims owed to   civil servants since 2012.
He said this on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open a two-day media sensitisation workshop on proper reporting of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government.
Idris said N13.2 billion was set aside for salary shortfall and N10 billion monthly for promotion arrears, adding that the mandates being issued were in the name of individual employees.
He said that the money would not be paid to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) but to the individuals affected to avoid any error in the payments.
“We cannot give money in bulk to the agencies, we will accept detailed information of all those individual employees and staff who are in that category having their names, banks, account numbers and amount that are in arrears as far as their salary payments are concerned.
“After due verification, we will now pay directly to the account of the employee, we have started that already and monies have been set aside.
“This is to make sure that the information is correct, factual and the monies go to the persons that are due to receive them.’’
Idris reiterated government’s readiness to live up to its responsibilities to its workers and their welfare.
He said the TSA policy since implementation has helped the Federal Government make tremendous gains to the economy especially in the time of recession.
“We have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements, resulting in consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts which were spread over Deposit money Banks (DMBs) across the country.
“This has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues and led to the blockage of leakages and abuse which characterised the public finance management before the implementation of the TSA.
“TSA has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings by MDAs and saved the government charges associated with those borrowings which hitherto amounted to N4.7 billion monthly.’’
He said the policy was seriously opposed when its implementation began adding that even after a year, monies were still discovered in DMBs.
He also said the case where some DMBs were charged to court for violation of Federal Government’s policy to remit all its funds to the TSA had been settled out of court.
He said the case was settled out of court to avoid jeopardising the financial system, adding that the government was doing all it could to ensure that the monies are returned to it.
The banks were ordered to remit 793.2 billion dollars that was allegedly hidden with the banks in contravention of the Federal Government’s policy on lodgement of money into the TSA.
The funds were revenues, donations, transfers, refunds, grants, taxes, fees, dues and tariffs accruable to the Federal Government from different MDAs.
The TSA policy was introduced by the Federal Government in April 2012, but a Presidential directive ensuring firm entrenchment was issued in August 2015 directing all MDAs to comply.