The Nigerian government on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force with the mandate to ensure full implementation of Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) for the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the entire intelligence community.
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning who is also the GIFMIS Project Sponsor, stated in her address at the inauguration that although the system was being used by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), its use by the armed forces and the intelligence community had raised concerns.
“As a matter of fact, the armed forces only apply certain aspects of the system in their operations and continue to function manually for the bulk of their activities.
“While we have made some progress regarding the use of IPPIS, I considered it necessary to look into the concerns raised with regard to full GIFMIS implementation with the sole aim of addressing them to ensure successful implementation of the system,” she said.
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Some of the issues raised by the military and intelligence agencies, according to Mrs Ahmed, include secret operational expenses, which are mainly cash-based, as well as cash-based non-regular allowances for personnel and officers.
Others are remote field operational areas not covered by ICT infrastructures that enable internet transactions and/or ATMs for transaction processing, and alignment of GIFMIS operations to the command and control structures of the armed forces.
The minister told the military personnel at the ceremony that the task force constitution would enable government to review the concerns and provide solutions.
She noted that the composition of the task force had been drawn from the armed forces and other relevant MDAs, saying the system was not a product of the treasury’s imagination but a multi-agency scheme developed by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the Debt Management Office, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Federal Inland Revenue Service in consultation with other stakeholders.