Senate tackles NAFDAC over N324million ‘Illegal’ allowance for officials

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.