Despite efforts by the Federal government to position the nation’s military and paramilitary apparatus resulting in the approval of various bumper packages, increment of salaries, as well as the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, unscrupulous elements who sit as Heads of paramilitary organizations with the Ministry of Interior acting as their birthing place, have devised various devious means to diverts these packages to their private pockets while paying peanuts to officers and workers in the Ministry.
This is as the Ministry of Interior under the leadership of Rauf Aregbesola, despite having purview over these Paramilitary Organizations have turned a blind eye to this alleged malfeasance being carried out by the Head of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), as well as the Nigeria Correctional Service formally known as the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) as the duo have become progenitors in the art of looting and pilfering.
Sources reveal that following the full implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, and the order by the Federal government to pay arrears to all its employees, Heads of these paramilitary organizations immediately activated ‘project defraud the Federal government’ as they allegedly began paying meager arrears which were in no way commensurate to the actual amounts they were supposed to pay to their subordinates while diverting the difference to their private pockets.
Findings also reveal that in December 2019, while employees of the Federal government received alerts on their phones showing payments of their arrears amidst smiles, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), and the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) amongst others were greeted with a rude shock to discover that their arrears have either being massively deducted or underpaid with the differences sitting comfortably in the accounts of their ‘Ogas at the top’ who have become professional monumental fraudsters.
While officers, as well as workers in the Interior Ministry, were yet to ascertain the rationale behind the incomplete arrears payment cum unexplainable deductions for December 2019, they were thrown into a state of topsy-turvydom when they received alerts of another meager payment of arrears for January 2020.
“What happened in December is that they paid all their men meagre arrears that is quite far from what is obtainable at other Federal Agencies. Surprisingly and joyfully, all officers from NSCDC started receiving another alert of the meager amount in early January. It looked like succor to all officers not knowing that it was a fraud committed through unsolicited loan”, a source squealed.
In a bid to by-pass the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the FG to block loopholes, findings revealed that the NSCDC and NCS bosses allegedly implemented stage two of siphoning the commonwealth of their officers as they introduced a compulsory unsolicited loan for all their officers. This allegedly became a conduit pipe through which they manipulated the IPPIS to deduct the outrageous amounts from the monthly salaries of all officers under the Ministry, leaving them with little or nothing to take home.
“Since all loopholes through which monies were illegally pilfered have been blocked, they resorted to giving officers unsolicited loan, then IPPIS would help the thieves deduct it once and remit it to them…. It looked like a relief to all officers not knowing that it was a fraud committed through an unsolicited loan. We say it is not a loan because it was not solicited for; it is not a loan because a loan of that significant amount wouldn’t be deducted once except by animals in human skin that do not have feelings for their fellow human beings” another source revealed.
Findings also showed that as proof that these Paramilitary Heads have been in the business of reckless pilferage for a long time, a source within the rank and file of one of the Services disclosed that the salary adjustment which was meant for the Police and all other Paramilitary officers as approved by the Federal government through the Minister of Labour and Productivity Dr Chris Ngige, was immediately implemented for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) since its approval, but no Service under the Ministry of Interior has implemented same.
He also disclosed that “…We must not protest, we must not talk, we can only grumble and swallow it. How can our voices be heard? Since about four years back now, one step increment that is normally added to worker’s salary in January has been stopped especially at all organizations under the Ministry of Interior”.
Bent on inflicting maximum injury on the officers while they feed their accounts fat from the savagery, it was also gathered that officers who received their promotion letters since 2018 having passed the promotion examinations, were decorated without a salary adjustment. This has left those who have been scheduled to write their promotion examinations, wondering if they will ever get paid when they come out successful.
An NSCDC officer who described the IPPIS as a scam due to the ability of their superiors to manipulate it also revealed that officers who received their promotion letters in 2018 have not received the commensurate salaries and allowances till date with another examination underway for another promotion.
He further explained that “a lot of discrepancies and unexplained deductions, somebody needs to investigate IPPIS…our commensurate increment to our new rank as a result of a promotion list that was duly approved and released on 31st of May, 2019 with effect from 1st of January, 2018 has not been paid. It’s strange and saddening that after decoration which took place immediately nothing has changed from what we are receiving as a salary. The minimum wage was approved in principle on the 18th of April, 2019 subject to consequential adjustment before it could be fully effected and this was fulfilled by October of 2019”.
There are speculations within the Ministry that the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, might be privy to the discrepancies and perhaps gets has a share from proceeds of the monumental fraud being carried out by the Heads of Paramilitary as his silence and inaction to an end to the nefarious activities of the Service Heads is a clear indication of the foregoing.