The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has flagged off the auditing of the remittance of statutory and non-statutory deductions from the payroll of workers from year 2010 to 2022.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, who conducted the flag off yesterday, July 25, in Abuja, said that it is to ensure that deductions from the payroll of workers are timely remitted to the third-party beneficiaries
He said that the auditing of the remittances of payroll deductions is in line with the FCTA’s objectives and commitment to ensure transparency, accountability and responsible financial management.
The remittance of statutory deductions to be audited, according to the Permanent Secretary, include taxes, pensions and insurance, while the non-statutory deductions fall under employee contributions to cooperative societies and various welfare programmes.
He said that the audit exercise is also being carried out to ensure that the Administration’s obligations to third-party beneficiaries are met with utmost integrity.
The Permanent Secretary said that remittances of payroll deductions play pivotal roles in maintaining the welfare of the FCTA workforce and complained that remittances for both statutory and non-statutory deductions from the payroll of workers since 2010 had faced some setbacks.
He listed some of the problems created as a result of such non-remittances to include the failure by FCTA retirees to claim their National Housing (NHF) funds from the Federal Mortgage Banks, due to non-posting of the deductions as a result of discrepancies in the schedules accompanying the payment of such deductions.
He said that as a result, the FCT Administration had to engage an Audit Consultant, M/S G.E. Osagie and Co. to audit the payroll of the FCTA from 2010 to 2022 in order to establish the unremitted statutory and non-statutory deductions due as liabilities to third party beneficiaries.
He said that the auditing exercise will determine the payments made to the various receivers of the statutory and non-statutory payments by staff and on behalf of each staff of the FCTA from 2010 to 2022 for NHF, FCT Health Insurance Scheme, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Cooperative deductions.
The auditing exercise is to determine outstanding obligations for the FCTA to staff as well as ascertain individuals and officials responsible where deductions were not made and make recommendations as appropriate.
The Permanent Secretary said: “the auditing of these payroll remittances signifies our unwavering dedication to a robust and meticulous financial system as it allows us to validate that the amounts deducted from our employees’ salaries are promptly remitted to the rightful beneficiaries. It is crucial to maintain the trust of both our employees and the third-party organisations that depend on these funds.”
He charged the auditing consultant to carry out its assignment in compliance with the terms of engagement as well as the scope and responsibility as stipulated in the Contract Agreement.
He also urged them to come up with recommendations that will make subsequent FCTA remittances on these statutory and non-statutory deductions seamless to the third-party beneficiaries and avoid embarrassment caused to the FCT by non-remittance of such deductions.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), Korede Matilukoro, said that the auditing the remittances of deductions from the about 40,000 workers of the FCTA was necessary and expressed satisfaction that the FCT Administration has engaged a reputable firm to handle the task.
He said that FCTA workers, for a long time, have struggled with issues of remittances of their statutory and non-statutory deductions and have been unable to access loans from the Federal Mortgage Banks, despite being major contributors to the funds.
He therefore charged the auditing firm to justify the confidence reposed in them by the FCTA, even as he pledged the support and cooperation of FCTA workers to ensure the success of the auditing exercise.
Also, the Managing Consultant of the auditing firm, M/S G.E. Osagie and Co. Godwin Osagie, expressed gratitude to the FCTA for entrusting his firm with the very important responsibility.
He assured that the firm will uphold the highest standards of professionalism and transparency in carrying out the exercise.