The House of Representatives committee on healthcare services, has disclosed that a syndicate of civil servants and operators of the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), has been manipulating the system to defraud the federal government.
The panel made the disclosure on Friday during a meeting with stakeholders in the health sector to deliberate on ways of resolving industrial disputes between government and resident doctors who are currently on strike.
The committee curiously however, hurriedly went into a closed door session just before representatives of the IPPIS explain their role in the alleged fraud involving multiple payment of salaries to a select group of resident doctors in some hospitals across the country, leaving journalists pondering on why the move was made.
Umbrella body of the resident doctors had earlier told the committee that the reason for the ongoing strike was due to financial injustice at the hands of the IPPIS to the effect that while many are owed arrears, others enjoyed multiple payments in the same system that prides itself as transparent and fraud-proof.
The stakeholders’ meeting started with members of the committee, fuming on how the ongoing strike was an embarrassment to the government, blaming the situation on perceived leadership ineptitude of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), which was expected to be abreast of happenings within its domain, when surprisingly, the Registrar, Dr. Sanusi told lawmakers that he only heard complaints about multiple payment through IPPIS on Thursday.
Addressing journalists after the closed door meeting which lasted several hours, deputy chairman of the committee, Hon. Samuel Adejare, called on the resident doctors to call off the strike and return back to the negotiating table, add g that Nigerians are finding things difficult due to the strike.
According to him, majority are in pains and cannot access medical care in private hospitals due to economic hardship occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic, adding that committee will continue its intervention efforts from next Tuesday.