By our Reporter
Following outcry by Academic Staff Union Universities,(ASUU),the Federal government has inaugurated a presidential steering committee to review government account systems.
Isa Pantami, Minister of communications and digital economy, inaugurated the committee on Friday in Abuja.
Pantami, who is also the chairman of the committee, listed the account systems as the treasury single account (TSA), government integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS), and the integrated payroll and personnel information (IPPIS).
He said the committee would be supervised by his ministry and other relevant government institutions.
According to him, the government account systems have technical challenges which need to be corrected.
Pantami said the committee has been mandated to proffer solutions to the possible leakages inherent in the systems that were exploited by people to divert public funds.
“This technical committee has been mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari, through a letter requesting his approval to review some of the technical processes and systems deployed in government,” he said.
TThis committee will serve as a presidential committee with the mandate of ensuring the review of the strengths of these systems and the challenges or weaknesses.
“The committee is to advise the president on how to improve the systems particularly if there are leakages that are being exploited by evil people.
“The issue came about on July 19, 2022, when we had a meeting with the president along with other ministries where some technical issues and some challenges were discussed.”
Pantami explained that the process of deployment for IPPIS commenced in 2006, GIFMIS was deployed in 2012, while TSA commenced in 2015 accordingly.
He said as at the time they were deployed, the provision of NITDA Act 2006 under section A, of setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions, was not followed.
“Because of this, these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as encouraged by law and many other government policies,” he said.
“However, in spite of that, many achievements had been recorded by their deployment.
“For example, based on the report from the relevant institutions of government, the IPPIS saved the government over N120 billion, while TSA saved over N10 trillion for government.
“It is because of this that we must identify where the challenges are, if any, and see how these systems can be enhanced technically.
“So that we will be able to consolidate the gains achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve many more successes.
“National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), looking at its mandate, will serve as the secretariat.
“The approval and the directive has clearly mentioned that all government institutions that manage these three systems must give unlimited access to the committee to ensure very strong recommendations for approval.”
The minister, however, warned that any institution that fails to give access would be reported to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “a punishment is going to be recommended to the president for implementation.”
Meanwhile, the members of the committee are NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).
Others are the office of the head of civil service of the federation, office of the auditor-general of the federation as well as National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission (NSWIC).
The rest are the Bureau of Public Service and Reforms(BPSR) and the federal ministry of communications and digital economy.