Senate Uncovers ₦‎13 Billion Illegal Salary Increase In Minting Company

The Senate has brought to light an alleged unauthorized payment of a N14 billion salary increase to all employees of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPMC) by its Board of Directors. This significant revelation was made during a session in the Senate’s Red Chamber in Abuja, with Senator Ahmed Wadada, the Chairman of the Senate Public Accounts Committee, overseeing the proceedings. The NSPMC management appeared before the committee to address concerns raised in the 2019 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

According to the Auditor-General’s report, between 2016 and 2019, the NSPMC’s Board of Directors approved N14 billion for salaries and allowances without seeking the necessary approval from the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC). The NSIWC, as outlined in Article 3 of the NSIWC Act, 1990, is responsible for advising the Federal Government on national income policy, recommending income growth proportions for wage increases, and monitoring wage trends, among other duties.

The Managing Director of NSPMC, Ahmed Halilu, initially argued in written submissions that the company did not require approval from the salaries and wages regulatory body because it was registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. However, during the Senate Committee on Public Accounts session, he acknowledged that it was indeed an oversight not to seek approval from the NSIWC before implementing the new salary and allowance increases within the company. This revelation raises questions about compliance with regulatory processes and financial governance within NSPMC.

Halilu further said, “It has come to our notice that we must obtain approval before salaries increase. It is salaries paid over three years. On this ground, it was not misappropriated considering the volume of works done by thousands of staff over this period.”

In their responses, nearly all members of the committee were displeased with the illegal payment, pointing out that the public funds were spent without due process.

The Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Nwebonyi Onyeka, explained that government money was spent without due process, adding that the misappropriated fund should be refunded.