Policemen lament disparities in salaries, arrears payment

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Some men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force have lamented alleged disparities in the payment of salaries and arrears by the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

The IPPIS was said to have taken over the payment of salaries of men and officers of the NPF from the Mechanised Salary Section to detect ghost workers in the system.

The cops claimed that there were differences in the salaries paid to some of the rank and file who are on the same level, lamenting that some junior policemen earn more than their colleagues.

A police inspector, who identified himself simply as Jako, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, to intervene in order to restore normalcy.

He said, “There have been a lot of inequalities in the police salary structure and a lot of policemen have been complaining bitterly. While an inspector could get N80,000, his fellow inspector could get N120,000. Some junior policemen could even get as much as N150,000 and in some cases, N200,000.

“While I get N84,000 as my monthly salary, I know a colleague on the same level with me who gets N120,000. Whenever we complain, they tell us to do documentation, which we have done without any result. Our morale has been affected by this issue; we don’t know the exact amount we earn. And for the arrears, we don’t know the period of time we are being paid for, and this has thrown the whole system into confusion. It was when our salary payment was transferred to the IPPIS that a lot of these problems started.”

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A sergeant, who identified himself only as Onazi, said he had yet to receive any arrears since his promotion, adding that the salary payment structure had been politicised.

Onazi said he was being paid from Ondo State where he started his career in the Force.

He said, “We observed that some junior officers who know senior officers at higher levels use their influence to increase their salaries beyond their rank or level. The most painful aspect is the arrears that the IPPIS have started paying. As I am talking to you, UBA has paid the arrears of some of my colleagues and a lot of officers, but I have not been paid. I have been calling some officials at the Mechanised Salary Section office in Ondo State to know if they could help; but no one has agreed to help me.”

Another cop, Udoh, who claimed to have been in the Force for over 10 years, said his junior colleagues were paid higher arrears.

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“I was paid N18,000 for my arrears and some of my juniors were paid N36,000. I confirmed this because they showed me the alert that they received on their phones,” he said.

A Superintendent of Police, who identified himself as David, said efforts by some policemen to resolve the anomalies had proved abortive.

He said, “It is obvious that something is wrong. I am on the same level and rank with a colleague and we share the same date of promotion, but our salaries differ. We are confused and when I complained to the MSS, I was directed to the IPPIS office in Lagos. When I got to the complaints unit, the man I met told me that he had nothing to say about the differences in the payment.

“He said he had been requesting the schedule of payment from the Accountant General’s office and nobody had answered him. We were told to channel our complaints to the IPPIS office at Abuja or the Accountant General’s office.”

When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said the Nigeria Police Force was aware of the matter, adding that the IG had deliberated with the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure that the matter was resolved.

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Mba said, “The concern of those policemen is not unknown to the Force. As a matter of fact, the budget office has briefed the Inspector-General of Police about the challenges. The IPPIS was introduced by the Federal Government as a tool to identify, eliminate and block leakages associated with ghost workers.

“The IPPIS requires us to fill in our data into its system and then become automatically paid that way. Unfortunately, for a reasonable length of time now, the police budget department has noticed a lot of challenges that police personnel are being exposed to because of this new system. The complaints from different quarters range from underpayment, over-payment and outright non-payment. In fact, some police officers have been erroneously retired.

“The challenges associated with this new IPPIS platform are not limited to the junior officers alone because it cuts across all ranks, including some senior police officers. Consequently, the IG has paid a courtesy visit to the Attorney General of the Federation, whose office is supervising the IPPIS, to comprehensively discuss these issues; but the problems have not been conclusively tackled. The only message I have for the police officers affected is to bear with the Force as the IG is doing everything possible to administratively resolve these issues.”

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