FG warns MDAs against implementing unapproved salary increases - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

FG warns MDAs against implementing unapproved salary increases

The federal government has directed all ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) implementing increases in salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits without its approval, to desist from such acts.

Ekpo Nta, Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), issued the warning at a two-day training workshop for salary inspectors in Abuja.

The training was organised for the execution of the second phase of the 2022 salary inspection programme.

Speaking at the conference, Nta said the commission over the years, through salary inspection programmes, discovered that some agencies were implementing unapproved salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits.

“I want to unambiguously state that even where the establishment acts of any fully-funded, partially-funded, and self-funded federal agencies allow its board to determine its remuneration, it can only do so after statutory input in line with section 3 (1) of the NSIWC Act 1999,” he said.

“This is irrespective of whether their establishment act predates 1993 or not. They are bound by our act in the same way and manner, the Public Procurement Act 2007, the ICPC Act 2000, Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, and so on, upon enactment.

“Whether pre-dating or post-dating their establishment acts, apply to all federal government agencies.”

The NSIWC Chairman said it was on this premise that the federal government issued two circulars signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, directing all MDAs to desist from implementing any increase without the agency’s input.

He said the circular also required MDAs to inform NSIWC of any government approvals, following receipt of such approvals.

“The country will not accept fiscal indiscipline where the personnel budget and non-regular allowances of the overhead budgets for public service employees are not controlled and spiral out of control without a corresponding increase in productivity, especially in self-funded institutions,” Nta said.

“This can be attributed to unregulated recruitment, implementation of the national minimum wage etc.”

Nta also said the commission had prevented the government from losing over N400 billion annually, through inspection and other activities that would have been abused, wasted, or misappropriated.

He said this year’s programme would cover agencies which have obtained approvals to implement new salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits, within the last six months.

The MDAs, according to the NSIWC boss, include the ministry of industry, trade and investment, and its parastatals; as well as the ministry of mines and steel development, and its parastatals.

Nta urged the salary inspectors to equip themselves during the workshop, go into the field and carry out the inspection with dedication and zero tolerance for compromise.

He warned that any inspector found contravening set rules and regulations would be penalised appropriately for criminal breach of trust or unethical conduct.

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