Gatherings and unrest occur as 17,000 Nigerian workers rush to enroll in IPPIS

    Due to crowding and raucous behavior at the exercise site, thousands of federal public officials taking part in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) physical verification in Abuja on Thursday felt disheartened.

    Workers at the Public Service Institute (PSI) exercise location on Kubwa Road in the federal capital were spotted struggling to finish the exercise, which is scheduled to end on October 27, when PREMIUM TIMES visited.

    The exercise, which started on Monday, October 16 and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, involves some 17,000 government employees who previously neglected to confirm their information in the IPPIS.

    “All concerned officers are to note that this is the last opportunity for the exercise,” according to a circular sent to all permanent secretaries instructing the staff to register in the system.

    IPPIS was created in 2006 with the goals of centralizing employee wage payments and providing easy-to-use staff remuneration with low waste, among other things.

    The government’s ministries, departments, and agencies comprised five groups of civil officials who arrived from various regions of the nation to ensure a seamless procedure in the ongoing verification.

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    This newspaper saw firsthand how difficult it was for the employees to enter the main building where the exercise was taking place during their visit to the center. Due to the lack of law enforcement officers to manage the gathering, the area descended into chaos during this period.

    Hundreds of workers, both men and women, who were unable to enter the hall, appeared to be frustrated as some spread wrappers to lie on them while others sat down on the bare floorboards.

    Because of the costs associated with traveling to the federal capital, those who do not live in Abuja were especially keen to finish the activity and get out.

    A few employees who talked with PREMIUM TIMES bemoaned the five-step registration process’s exhausting nature.


    One of the workers, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent retaliation, reported that he saw a sizable group of people when he arrived at the exercise location on Thursday at precisely six in the morning.

    On the piece of paper, he claimed to have written his name, along with the names of the other people who had arrived on Wednesday.

    He denounced the way the verification was handled, claiming that technology might have made the registration process less onerous.

    He asserts that the suspended salaries of the impacted personnel would have prevented them from traveling to Abuja.

    Instead of requiring employees to go through the five procedures in the center, he claimed the government ought to have let them complete the registration process remotely.
    “We might have made things easier by implementing technology as a procedure. In other words, anyone might have completed it from a distance. The six geopolitical zones spread out over the country might readily accommodate a single sighting, he suggested.

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    Additionally, he lamented the government’s “insensitivity” in forcing 17,000 employees to gather in one location for the exercise when it could have been completed in each of their own agencies.

    He claimed that even after the practice, several of their coworkers experienced mishaps while traveling to Abuja.

    A female employee from Taraba State who works as a teacher playfully said to the reporter, “here are we ooo,” implying that she was not a “ghost worker,” a word used to describe employees who do not exist but receive pay.

    Unverified rumors claimed that some employees passed out during the exercise a few days earlier.

    Head of Service speaks

    According to Mohammed Abdullahi, director of communications for the office of the Federation’s Head of Civil Service, the boisterous meetings at the location were caused by the employees’ incapacity to behave politely, PREMIUM TIMES was informed.

    “They are first civil servants, their conduct at all times should be civil,” he added, adding that employees are paying a price for their lack of cooperation with the enrolling staff.

    “For the exercise to proceed, the impacted personnel must behave appropriately. They won’t start accusing us of frightening people if we don’t take Civil Defence to that level, Mr. Abdullahi stated.

    In order to avoid mistakes, he stated, the office of the Head of Civil Service will not expedite the exercise.

    In order to lessen their workload, Mr. Abdullahi encouraged the employees to cooperate with the center’s enrolling personnel and to cease acting erratically.

    Verification began in 2019


    The director clarified that although the verification process started in 2019, 17,000 employees have declined to take part since then, which has resulted in the high number and the suspension of their pay.

    “The online enrollment gateway was launched in 2019, but it appears that the individuals impacted were not present in the nation.

    He declared, “We stopped paying them because they weren’t verified, and being unverified is equivalent to being a ghost worker.”

    According to Mr. Abdullahi, the workers are required to submit their primary school certificates and other necessary documents, making the ongoing exercise comprehensive.

    According to him, there is no logistics support for the employees since the Head of Service’s office lacks the funding for it.

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