Tension in Armed Forces, Security Agencies over non payment of salaries
By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja.
There is tension in the Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as other uniformed personnel of security agencies over the non-payment of their April 2020 salaries as a result of what insiders termed ‘incapability and inexperience’ of the operators of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
The tension is further aggravated by the fact that families of about 100,000 Nigerian troops across the services fighting in several theatres against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, armed and murderous Bandits, Kidnappers, Armed Robbers, Piracy and oil thievery among other national threats, have been thrown into more hardship, while suffering from the coronavirus Pandemic lockdown.
The worse hit are families of about 60,000 troops who, by virtue of being in the frontlines of the varous battles, authorized payment of salaries through cheques to their wives and children since they cannot leave the war front for that purpose.
Consequently, this non-payment of salaries and serial display of alleged ‘incompetence’ on the part of IPPIS is threatening the high morale of troops who are on the verge of carrying out the finale offensives to defeat the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism that has plagued the country for years.
Though it was gathered that officials (consultants) of IPPIS gave assurance that salaries would be paid between 4th and 8th April, nothing was heard from them for troops who have no other source of income for their family upkeep. They are said to be boiling now.
“Why is it now that troops of the armed forces are now winning the war against terrorism and the push to finally crush them, that this dangerous distraction is taking place? Has IPPIS been infiltrated to sabotage the onslaught?,” a military source said, fuming.
The action of IPPIS has led observers fearing the security agencies may vent their anger against the federal government and the various Armed Forces Commanders, calling on the Buhari administration to remove the military from the poor operations of IPPIS and treat them like the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Investigations showed that since the IPPIS was introduced to handle payment of salaries for the military, the implementation has been beset with one confusion or the other on monthly basis.