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Senate uncovers N13bn illegal salary increase in NSPMC

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Senate uncovers N13bn illegal salary increase in NSPMC

In a significant revelation, the Senate has uncovered how the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPMC) allegedly paid a staggering N14bn salary increase to its staff members without the necessary approval from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

During a session in the Red Chamber in Abuja, Senator Ahmed Wadada, Chairman of the Senate Public Accounts Committee, discovered this irregularity when the management of NSPMC appeared before the committee to address the 2019 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The report revealed that between 2016 and 2019, the NSPMC’s Board of Directors approved N14bn for salaries and allowances without obtaining the required approval from the salaries and wages regulatory body. This constitutes a violation of the NSIWC Act, 1990, which mandates the commission to advise the Federal Government on national income policy and regulate wage increases.

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In response to these findings, the Managing Director of NSPMC, Ahmed Halilu, initially argued that the company did not require approval from the salaries and wages regulatory body, citing its registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. However, he later admitted before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts that it was indeed wrong not to seek approval from the NSIWC before implementing the salary increase.

Halilu further stated that the salaries were paid over a three-year period for the work performed by thousands of staff members and defended the increase as not being misappropriated.

Members of the committee expressed their dissatisfaction with the illegal payments, emphasizing that public funds were spent without following due process. Senator Nwebonyi Onyeka, the Deputy Whip of the Senate, stressed that the misappropriated funds should be refunded since government money was utilized improperly.

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