Police inspectors and rank and file under the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate and the Inspector General of Police to investigate the consistency in the payment of their salaries.
The officers specifically queried the activities of the Integrated Personnel, Payroll and Information System, IPPIS, saying they suspect fraud.
According to the officers who pleaded anonymity, they have been suffering underpayment of their regular salary every month since 2018 when payment of police Salaries and allowances was moved from Mechanized Salary Section (MSS) to the IPPIS, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Finance.
One of them further lamented that all their efforts to get the anomaly corrected had been futile especially as nobody has given them any reason over the issue.
He said, “We made complaints at the MSS Uyo and the officers there blamed the IPPIS saying problem is from the IPPIS. And when some of us suffered and travelled to IPPIS office in Abuja they were referred back to the MSS in Uyo and blamed the MSS for the short payments and non-payment in some months.
“Since IPPIS took over payment of our salary in March 2018 discrepancies in our salaries has become a nightmare. Our monthly salary is no longer a fixed amount such that policemen in the same grade level received different amount of money.
“Some inspectors on same grade level 10 now receive N50, 000, N60, 000, some N40, 000. And we also have situations where constables are receiving N250, 000 monthly salary, while sergeants, inspectors are paid N10, 000, N32, 000, and even N9, 000 as monthly salary.
”We demand to know why officers in the same grade level are paid different as salary, and why the amount paid each monthly is not consistent.
“The situation is that we no longer know what our salary is per month as IPPIS pays whatever amount they deem fit for each month. Some people lose up to N60, 000, each month from what they have been receiving before IPPIS took over our salary payment.
“We are therefore appealing to the president, the Inspector General of Police IGP to as a matter of great importance institute a high powered investigative panel to unravel this endemic corruption. IPPIS activities as it relates to payment of police Salaries should be investigated from February 2018 till date”
Another affected police officer said that they have found out recently that their colleagues with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC have been paid refund from the short payment after going to IPPIS office in Abuja to threaten them.
“In fact we gathered that few of our colleagues that have corrected their own short payment did so by visiting IPPIS through back door. That is why we are calling on the IGP, Chairman Senate Committee on Police Affairs, to set up a fact finding team to go across the command and hear the agony of the men before we embark on protest to expose IPPIS and they fraud they have been committing.
“Even the implementation of the new salary package approved by President Buhari for the Nigeria Police Force December 2018 is another source of concern as the fraud by IPPIS continues. It is unfortunate because this is only a mockery of the President’s fight against corruption”