The migration of Nigeria’s financial architecture from manual to digital operations is saving N120 billion for the country monthly, Accountant-General of the Federation (A-GF) Ahmed Idris has said.
He made the revelation when legislators visited his office on oversight functions.
Idris told the lawmakers that the government’s decision to digitalize most of its operations and adopt Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been saving for the country N4 billion.
The funds, the A-GF said, would have been spent on manual operations.
Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) are two of the digital platforms that have helped the government make the savings.
Idris said: “We’ve achieved substantial gross savings in the sum of about N21 billion in respect of the six hundred and two (602) Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) paid on IPPIS.
“On the IPPIS platform, savings were made by sweeping into the digital network, 793,580 civilian salary accounts from 602 MDAs.
“Military personnel now on the IPPIS platform are Nigeria Navy 23,863; Nigeria Air Force 19,656; and Nigeria Army 116,117.
“Savings were made from Paramilitary Personnel on IPPIS platform such as Nigeria Police Force 293,571; Nigeria Immigration Service 24,664; Nigeria Civil Defense Corps 55,611 and Nigeria Prisons Service 30,133
“Under GIFMIS, the government made savings by bringing in 1072 MDAs on GIFMIS Platform; 19,773 GIFMIS users on GIFMIS platform and 38 Federal Pay Offices (FPOs) on GIFMIS platform.”
To consolidate on this savings and protect the nation’s financial architecture, Ahmed Idris said the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) is collaborating with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to protect the system from cyber-attacks.
He noted: “The OAGF and ONSA have been engaged in an immense effort at protecting these infrastructures from cybercrimes in line with the vision and mission of Cybercrimes Act 2015.
“The OAGF, being the hub of government’s treasury, cannot toy with cybersecurity, especially now that the bulk of its operations have become fully digitalized.
“In recognition of the significant role played by the OAGF in the automation of Public Financial Management (PFM), the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has designated GIFMIS and IPPIS infrastructures as Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII).
As a result, both the government bodies, he said, have agreed to collaborate to fortify its ICT infrastructure and quickly close any identified gaps that can compromise its operations.
He said: “Several measures have been put in place to mitigate risk and enhance national cybersecurity.
“Galaxy Backbone Providing Global Protection for our platform; Security and Integrity background checks are carried out by Agencies saddled with such tasks; The OAGF also liaises with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for infrastructure and equipment specification approval.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Senator Yakubu Oseni, lamented that criminal elements the world over have turned ICT revolution into a nightmare.