The Senate, Thursday, took up the management of the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), over N324million productivity allowance for staff without any approval from National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
The alleged illegal productivity allowance expended by NAFDAC to staff came to the fore at the session the Senate Committee on Public Accounts had with Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, on query slammed against the agency in the 2016 Audit Report.
The allowance as stated in the report, was done with payment voucher dated April 13, 2015 without approval from National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) which is the legitimate body for approval of allowances.
The query states: , “A payment voucher no. 29519 dated 13/04/2015 was raised for payment of 2014 Productivity Allowance to staff amounting to N323,678,741.97 (Three hundred and twenty-three million, six hundred and seventy-eight thousand, seven hundred and fortyone naira, ninety-seven kobo).
“However, the authority from the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) giving legitimacy to the payment of this allowance as was the case with NAFDAC‟s salaries and other allowances, was not seen. Consequently, the Director-General was requested to produce evidence of NSIWC approval for payment of Productivity Allowance as part of the remuneration package of the Agency, failing which full recovery should be effected from the salaries of the beneficiaries.
“The Director-General’s explanation of obtaining the approval of the NAFDAC Council or Honourable Minister of Health is not tenable because the appropriate authority in such matters is the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
“The Director-General should produce the approval of the Commission or recover the payments from the beneficiaries as initially requested.”
But In her submission before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye admitted that the approval has not been granted from National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) , but the work is still ongoing on the approval from the Commission till now.
“The Productivity allowance predated me and there was no excuse at all, the continuation of it is what I met, we are waiting for salaries and wages Commission to regularise it, our staff are poorly paid and I have said it in different forum”, she said.
The acting Chairman of the Committee, Senator Suleiman Hadeija, consequently ordered NAFDAC Boss to obtain the approval for the increment from National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and produce evidence to that effect to the committee.