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Senate rejects illegal N324m allowance to NAFDAC officials

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Senate rejects illegal N324m allowance to NAFDAC officials
Senate has kicked against the N324 million productivity allowance to staff of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC without approval from the National  Salaries, Incomes and Wages  Commission, NSIWC.
The upper legislative chamber, through its Committee on Public Accounts, hinged the rejection of illegal increment of the allowance on the query in the 2016 Audit report of the Auditor General for the Federation, AuGF.
Tagged as Productivity Allowance, the increment was done with payment voucher dated April 13, 2015 without approval from the NSIWC, which is the legitimate body to approval allowance.
However, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye admitted that approval has not been granted by NSIWC, but work is still ongoing on the approval from the Commission.
“The Productivity Allowance predated me and there was no excuse at all, the continuation of it is what I met, we are waiting for the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to regularize it, our staff are poorly paid and I have said it in different fora,” she explained.
The Acting Chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Hadejia therefore stepped down the query till the NAFDAC obtained the approval for the increment from NSIWC.
The query had stated: “A  payment  voucher no. 29519  dated  13/04/2015  was  raised  for  payment  of  2014 Productivity  Allowance  to  staff  amounting  to  N323,678,741.97  (Three  hundred  and twenty-three  million,  six  hundred  and  seventy-eight  thousand,  seven  hundred  and  fortyone  naira,  ninety-seven  kobo).
“However, the authority  from the  National  Salaries, Income and Wages  Commission (NSIWC) giving legitimacy to  the  payment of  this allowance  as  was the case with NAFDAC‟s salaries  and other allowances, was not seen. Consequently, the Director-General  was  requested to produce evidence of NSIWC approval for payment of Productivity Allowance as part of the remuneration package of the agency, failing which full recovery should be effected  from  the salaries of  the beneficiaries.
“The  Director-General’s explanation of  obtaining the approval of  the NAFDAC Council or Honourable Minister of  Health is not tenable  because the  appropriate authority in such matters  is  the Salaries, Incomes and Wages  Commission.
“The Director-General should produce  the approval of the Commission or  recover  the payments from the beneficiaries as initially requested.”
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