Tinubu Orders CBN to Halt Payments to MDAs Until Further Notice

In a bid to establish firm control over his administration, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reportedly instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cease further payments to the ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government until further notice.

According to sources within the presidency, the directive was issued prior to the suspension of the embattled CBN boss, Godwin Emefiele, and his transfer to the Department of State Services (DSS) for further action.

The purpose of the directive, as stated by the source, was to ensure accountability within the MDAs and to prevent misappropriation of government funds.

The source emphasized that the directive was comprehensive and without exemptions.

Following this development, investigations have revealed that MDAs have placed a complete embargo on payments to their creditors, facing difficulties in their operations due to lack of financial support from the government via the CBN.

A Director-General of a federal government agency, speaking confidentially, confirmed that the directive has disrupted their operations for two consecutive weeks, as the agency is unable to secure funds.

The Director-General said, “The Federal Government has instructed the CBN to cease further payments to the MDAs. We are not receiving any funds, debts are accumulating, and we are even unable to settle outstanding payments to media houses for advertisements.”

The top government official added that employees’ salaries were being paid directly from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, providing some relief, and expressed hope that the situation would normalize soon.

In a related development, President Tinubu has approved the suspension of the Assistant Director in charge of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and others, on allegation of salary padding.

Reports indicate that the Assistant Director at the OAGF, responsible for staff salaries, allegedly colluded with certain staff members to inflate the salaries of lower-level employees.

Numerous civil servants across various MDAs, including the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the OAGF, have been suspended for their involvement in salary padding on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

A high-ranking official in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation confirmed the development, stating that the individuals implicated have been suspended pending an investigation.

The official revealed, “The fraudulent activity was discovered when a level 7 officer, whose salary should have been around N60,000, received over N400,000, equivalent to the salary of a director.”

The salary padding scheme had been on-going among a small group of civil servants across different MDAs, with the IPPIS office in the OAGF serving as the central point.

The source further indicated that a staff member suspected of involvement in the misconduct has been suspended to facilitate a thorough investigation.

Efforts are being made to strengthen controls surrounding the IPPIS payment platform, and an independent forensic audit of the entire payroll system is underway to determine the extent of the breach, according to the source.