THE ROLE OF E-PAYMENT SYSTEM IN TACKLING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SERVICE: A STUDY OF INTEGRATED PAYROLL AND PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (2007-2014)

THE ROLE OF E-PAYMENT SYSTEM IN TACKLING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SERVICE: A STUDY OF INTEGRATED PAYROLL AND PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (2007-2014)

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ABSTRACT

The main focus of any Public Establishment in Nigeria has been to provide quality service to the public devoid of corruption, at faster rate and at reduced cost; hence, there has been an increased demand of a system that can provide that efficiency within a limited time. The main objective of this study was to discuss the role of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System on Public Service in Nigeria, in the areas of financial discipline, accountability, and service delivery. The study adopted Survey and Descriptive research methods as the research method, where it carried out the study of the population of 832 Staff of five Federal Establishments in Akwa Ibom State and the sample size of 270 was collected through stratified and cluster sampling. The sources of data included both primary and secondary sources. The statistical methods of analysis were the Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) and Chi-Square. The Organizational Change Theory postulated by Kurt Lewin was the theoretical framework adopted to guide the theory. The results were presented in simple frequency and percentage tables. The study found out that IPPIS impacted positively on financial discipline, accountability and service delivery on low levels of significance in public service in Nigeria. It was however concluded that, the IPPIS could have gradual positive effect on corruption in the service. The study suggested that upgraded software which will conform to the nation’s climatic conditions and geographical terrains be acquired and adopted to prevent future system failure and to ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency of the E-payment Reform.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background to the Study

         In Nigeria, virtually all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) draw their personnel costs from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). The exact number of Personnel being paid from the Nation’s Treasury cannot be easily ascertained due to non-availability of required and necessary information. As a result of none availability of the accurate number of Public servants in the country, it has become more difficult for government to have an accurate wage data for planning, and account for its spending. The E-Payment Reform which brought about the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) seeks to resolve this and also reduce the Federal Government expenditure on Overheads. In 2007, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank initiated Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The Goals set by the Federal Government at the inception of the reform in 2007 included to implement an Integrated Solution and improve Human Management effectiveness in the Public Service (Federal Ministry of Finance, 2011).

Among the objectives of the reforms of Government is to entrench transparency and accountability in the public service Human Resources (HR) records and payroll administration. Successive Government has observed gross inadequacies in the payroll and personnel records in the public service (Federal Ministry of Finance, 2011). Several efforts have been made to reduce these challenges, but it tends to worsen with time, resulting to greater difference in accessing reliable data for human resources planning and management, chaotic state of pension administration; ‘ghost worker’ syndrome and various forms of payroll and credential fraud.

         Manual computation of salary and documentation of personnel information has been compounding the problem of transparency and accountability. This also affects accuracy in computation of salary hence overpayment or underpayment of salaries, omission of staff name in payroll, wrong calculation of promotion and pension that is due to staff and Ex-staff as the case may be. With the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System in Nigerian Public Service, this research carried out the cases in five federal establishments in Akwa Ibom State which are; National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Industrial Training Funds (ITF), Small and Medium Scale Development agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), if the system has helped bring the above mentioned problems to the barest minimum.

1.2                 Statement of the Problem

Records showed that the Government of Nigeria spends almost 58% of her revenue on Personnel Management every year at the detriment of other sectors of the economy (Federal Ministry of Finance, 2014). According to the erstwhile Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga in his address at the flag off of Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System Phase II workshop held at the Sheraton Hotels Abuja on 4th June,2009, he said that in 2011 Federal Government Budget was projected at N4,226.19 billion, comprising N196.12 billion(4%) for statutory transfers; N542.38 billion (13%) for Debt servicing; N2,481.71 billion (58%) for Recurrent (Non-debt) expenditure and N1,005.99 billion (24%)for Capital expenditure (FMF, 2014). This huge bill it is said if not monitored and cut down through appropriate government policy and reform program, the Nation may wake up one day only to discover that all Government Revenue are spent in paying salaries at the detriment of competing needs.       

Ghost worker syndrome is at alarming rate in Nigerian Public Service, where non-existing employees are being paid monthly. There are multiple payments of emoluments to a single employee and credentials are falsified. People have access to their age of retirement. It is a big challenge, that at this age when almost every aspect of the world economy is computerized, Nigeria is still depending on manual records for her personnel and payroll information. Workers data are kept in paper files, their salaries are calculated manually and as such mistakes and frauds in form of overpayment, underpayment and payment of ghost workers always occur.

            Government of Nigeria does not have the accurate number of civil servants and her budget is always an estimate. This has created some loop holes, whereby some ministries budget more than they require and use the excess for some other things other than payment of salary and allowances. Sometimes some will get personnel allocation that is quite less than what they need and for that reason they place some workers on allowances or half pays for many months thereby subjecting them to unnecessary hardship.

1.3              Research Questions

            In addressing these issues, the study attempted to find answers to the following questions:

i.Has the IPPIS enhanced financial discipline in Public Service in Nigeria?

ii.Has the IPPIS enhanced accountability in Public Service in Nigeria?

iii.Has the IPPIS enhanced Service Delivery in the Public Service in Nigeria?

iv.What measures should be adopted in order to improve the operation of the IPPIS in the public service?

1.4              Objectives of the Study

Main Objective of the Study

            Broadly, the study is meant to critically analyze E-Payment System and control of Corruption in Public Service in Nigeria.

Specific Objectives of the Study

            The specific objectives of the study are:

i.                    To identify and discuss how the IPPIS has enhanced financial discipline in Public Service in Nigeria.

ii.                  To identify and discuss how the IPPIS has enhanced accountability in Public Service.

iii.                To identify and discuss how the IPPIS has enhanced Service Delivery in the Public Service.

iv.                To suggest measures that can be introduced to enhance better operation of the       IPPIS in the public service.

1.5              Research Hypotheses

i.                    Effective Implementation of IPPIS tends to enhance financial discipline in Nigerian Public Service.

ii.                  Effective Implementation of IPPIS tends to enhance Accountability in Nigerian Public Service.

iii.                Effective Implementation of IPPIS tends to enhance Service Delivery in Nigerian Public Service.

1.6              Significance of the Study

            Empirically, this study will provide the research result that will guide the Public Servants in Nigeria on how control corruption in the service. It will be useful to government on how to make effective policies on the use of the Integrated Payroll system to minimize corruption in Nigeria, thereby ensuring efficient service delivery to the public.

            Theoretically, the research will contribute to scholarly debate on the adoption of Integrated Payroll System to control corruption in Nigeria’s Public Service. It will also serve as a resource literature for researchers who may embark on studying of IPPIS as a payment system in Nigeria, since much works have not been done on the role of electronic payment system and corruption in Public Service in Nigeria. The research will also contribute to the knowledge of Public Finance Administration, which is one of the important courses for students of Public Administration.


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