News Investigators/ Palpable fear has gripped the federal government workers with about 17, 000 civil servants risk being delisted permanently from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS for failing to participate in the staff verification exercise.
The affected workers would lose their employment status and be denied access to wages should they fail to be verified after the extension period of one week granted by the Head of Service of the Federation.
The National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Tommy Etim Okon told journalist in Abuja that about 17000 workers were affected from available records that was obtained from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
Mr Okon called on the affected staff members to avail themselves of the one-week window granted by the Head of Service to accommodate the erring workers.
He also has directed the affected workers under the federal government payroll to remain calm as measures are being taken to address the situation.
The 17,000 government employees were said to have been delisted from the IPPIS for failing to comply with the verification exercises spanning over five years.
The ASCSN president claimed that there were some discrepancies in the IPPIS verification process, disclosing that names of Personal Assistants (PAs), Special Advisers (SAs) and in some cases Ministers who had served in successive governments were found in the portal.
Mr. Okon also criticised his members, wondering why most genuine civil servants feigned ignorance of the verification exercise, while it lasted.
He however noted that the office of the Head of Service of the Federation has given a one week grace period for affected employees who were erroneously omitted from the IPPIS portal to forward their documents for update, provided they had genuine cases.
“We called your attention to what we heard or information at our disposal just few days ago, we received an information that over 17,000 workers in the core civil service did not carry out the online verification which was done by the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
“Quickly we swung into action to interface with the government through the HoSF and by that singular act, there was need for us to talk to our members and that informed the reasons, because we have seen a lot of apprehensions from our members, receiving several phone calls, then we also looked at the timing.
“We went deep into the document where we also realised that even in some government agencies, we realised that names of PAs, SAs and some Ministers were included in the IPPIS portal, whereas those people were political office holders in their own rights in various regimes”.
On the life line available to the affected workers, he said a committee has already been constituted in the office of the HOSF to handle such cases.
He advised those with genuine complaints, who had initially done the online verification on the portal of the IPPIS to submit a scanned copy of their document to the email that has been provided.
Comrade Okon however said the one week deadline given by the HoSF to fully comply with the verification exercise was rather too limited, stressing that government should in its magnanimity extend it because of the rigours involved.l economic challenges.
He said, “You know it is always said that when you want to kill a dog, you give it a bad name, that maybe justifies the inclusion of SAs, PAs to the bad name in quote. They came up with claims that civil servants don’t come to work, they just sit down at home and collect salaries, we said capital No to that.
“These information is very important to our members and we are calling all our members to remain calm because the HoSF is doing her best to see that those workers who were genuinely captured and verified with evidence of clearance will be brought back to the payroll.
“The HoSF has given a window of one week to ensure that if you were verified genuinely on the online portal of IPPIS, that you should submit the scanned copy to the email that has been provided, you can also submit the document to the committee which has already been set up in the office of the HoSF, let me also say this to our members, this exercise was not carried out last week, it has been over five years but one is taken aback why some of us became recalcitrant to things that affect our career and even our family.
“We know that a civil servant is responsible to more than 10 people in the family and when you take into cognizance the extended African culture, you realise that a civil servant does not only earn his salary but does so with every other member of the family.
“So it is on this note that we call on the government to exercise restraint over this exercise and give a good window, so that we can select those who visited the portal and did the online verification and certified, whose names are appearing in this document, so that names should be excluded.”