THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF'S VISION
To have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
THE CHIEF OF ACCOUNTS AND BUDGET (ARMY)'S MISSION STATEMENT
To lead a corps that provides transparent and efficient financial services to enable the Nigerian Army discharge its constitutional roles.
HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY FINANCE CORPS
The history of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps (NAFC) cannot be completely written without a collaborating brief on the history of Nigerian Army (NA). This is because the history of NAFC is relatively tied to the evolution of the NA. As the NA went through various stages of re-organization, the NAFC which is the NA’s instrument of financial administration in terms of receipts, disbursements and management of funds also went through various stages of development. The name Pay and Records Office as a unit and the Nigerian ... Army Pay Corps as the Corps was then known; went through four main structural stages before it became the NAFC. To conveniently contain the bulk of the increased roles and responsibilities brought about by the Nigerian Army Order of Battle (NA ORBAT), the change in nomenclature became necessary. The Pay and Records Office which was hitherto commanded by infantry officers as Commanding Officers were structured to be commanded by professional accountants and allied professionals as Commanders at the Command Finance Office (CFO) which is now known as NAFC, Apapa. The birth of the Nigerian Army came to be through the efforts of the British in her desire to conquer and establish authority over Nigeria. This feat was attained by Lieutenant John Glover of the Royal Navy who later became the Governor of Lagos as Sir John Glover. He started with a small local force made up of freed Hausa slaves which he named the force “glover Hausas or Hausa Militia”. As a result of the faith and confidence Sir John Glover had in these men, he made no pretence making representation to the imperial government seeking for approval for a defence force in Lagos by transforming the men at his disposal into a formidable force. By this time, the West Indian Regiment was in control of Lagos. The Glover’s men were also called Constabulary which eventually took over from the West Indian Regiment with troops strength of about 40 men which later increased to 100 in June 1863. By October 1863, the imperial government saw the need to give approval for increase of troops strength from 100 to 600 men. In 1865, the Glover Hausas was recognized as a regular force and latter named the Lagos Constabulary. They were charged with both military and police duties. It remained so until 1901 when it was incorporated into the West African Frontier force and then subsequently renamed to the Lagos Battalion. On the 1st of May 1906, the Lagos Battalion became the Second Battalion of the Southern Nigerian Regiment. When Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated on 1 January 1914, the Northern Nigeria Regiment controlled by the Royal Niger Company merged with the Southern Nigeria Regiment and became the Nigerian Regiment. However, when the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II paid a routine visit to Nigeria as one of the British Colonies between 28 January and 15 February 1956, the British Army Regiment in Nigeria known as the Nigerian Regiment was renamed as the Queens Own Nigerian Regiment. Later that same year, the West African Frontier Force was regionalized and each military force became independent. The Nigerian Regiment then became the Nigerian Military Force. It is important to remember that the control and administration of the Nigerian Military Force by the British Army Council in London was handed over to the government of Nigerian in June 1958. In 1960, when Nigeria attained her independence from the British government, the Nigerian Military Force became the Royal Nigerian Army. The Royal Nigerian Army was indigenized in 1963 when Nigeria became a republic, and as such, the Royal Nigerian Army became the Nigerian Army. Until 1963, the Nigerian Army was known as the Queens Own Nigeria Regiment administered from the British Royal Army in London. Consequently, British officers in Nigeria who were mainly principal staff officers were paid their salaries and allowances by the Royal Army Pay Corps in London. In order to curtail the problems arising from the payment of salaries and allowances to Nigerians in the Army, it was considered necessary to establish a pay centre in Nigeria. This important demand brought about the setting up of the District Pay Office before 1963. It was manned exclusively by the officers of the Royal Army Pay Corps whose main role was to pay the monthly salaries and allowances of the indigenous officers and soldiers. The district Pay Office was in 1964 transformed into the Nigerian Army Pay and Records Office. Activities in Pay and Records Office meant for salaries and allowances were carried out by one Lieutenant Colonel G Pilkington of the Royal Army Pay Corps as the Staff Paymaster. The responsibility of regimentation in the corps was that of Major RC Bracewell (Briton) an infantry officer as the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Army Pay and Records Office in Apapa, Lagos. While Lieutenant Colonel MMO Morah (Nigerian) was understudying Lieutenant Colonel G Pilkington, the Staff Paymaster, Major DS Ogunewe (Nigerian) an infantry officer was understudying Major RC Bracewell the Commanding Officer of Pay and Records Office. It is important at this point to state that Major LN Weinstock was equally in the queue understudying Major RC Bracewell. When Major RC Bracewell on 1 September 1964 left the command on return to the Royal Army, Major LN Weinstock took over the command on the same day as the Commanding Officer. The pay and Records Office command was taken over by Major DS Ogunewe as the first indigenous commanding Officer of the unit on 1 January 1965. Lieutenant Colonel RF Trimnel another indigenous infantry officer took over the baton of command, and did not stay longer than 10 September 1966 when Major SA Babatola took over as the Commanding Officer on 15 September 1966. Major SA Babatola left the command for a short course overseas. In his absence, the second-in-command Captain AA Abdulkadir commanded the unit from 16 January to 31 May 1969. When Major SA Babatola returned to Nigeria, he took over the command again on 1 June 1969. He remained the Commanding Officer when the name Pay and Records Office was changed to Central command Pay Office in March 1971. In August 1975 the Central Command Pay Office was further changed to Command Pay Office following the trend of Nigerian Army restructuring after the Nigerian Civil War. Whereas Major DS Ogunewe an infantry officer took over the command of Pay and Records Office from Major Bracewell on 1 December 1964 as the Commanding Officer, Major MMO Morah took over from Lieutenant Colonel G Pilkington as the Staff Paymaster in 1964. Lieutenant Colonel Morah handed over the office of the Staff Paymaster to Colonel FAZ Sheilu when he left because of the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967. Colonel FAZ Sheilu held this office for a period of nine years. He however had problem which led to his dismissal on 8 August 1975. In keeping with the policies of the Nigerian Army and to conform with its tentative re-organization structure, the appointment of Staff Paymaster was changed to Chief Paymaster and moved from Apapa to Army Headquarters, Lagos in March 1973. Two years later, Colonel WJ Ukor assumed command on 8 August 1975. Pay and Records Office having grown in size with increased responsibilities became a Corps and named Nigerian Army Pay Corps. He held this appointment up to 18 August 1980 when Brigadier AA Abdulkadir took over the mantle of command. The Nigerian Army Pay Corps was renamed the NAFC in 1983 after another major re-organization to actually reflect the professionalization of the NAFC financial accounting functions. This re-organization exercise brought in a lot of changes. The office of the Paymaster General was renamed Director Army Finance and Accounts (DAFA). The name Command Pay Office was changed to CFO; this time under a Commander as against a Commanding Officer. The Divisional Pay Offices became Divisional Finance and Accounts Offices while the appointment of the Chief Paymasters were changed to Assistant Directors Army Finance and Accounts (ADAFA). This important re-organization increased the responsibilities of the NAFC to the NA. In appreciation of the demanding responsibilities and commitments of the office of DAFA, the rank structure of that appointment was elevated from Brigadier General to Major General in 1984. This was a motivational break-through for NAFC. Brigadier AA Abdulkadir, the DAFA was reassigned to Headquarters of Nigerian Printing and Minting Company as Managing Director on 7 May 1984 and promoted to the rank of Major General in the same year. Colonel A Basharu took over from Brigadier on 8 May 1984 and attained the rank of Brigadier before handing over to Brigadier VO Odeka on 30 September 1990. It is important to note that what we have presently as NAFC actually started as Pay and Records Office with only two Brigade Paymasters to carry out the functions of paying troops salaries ad allowances. Independent units however had Paymasters. There were no Battalion Paymasters, rather the Commanding Officers appointed their Company Commanders as Paying Officers. This peep into the past will enable us imagine the system of paying troops in those early times. The Battalion Pay Office was however manned by Pay clerks of Pay and Records Office. The Battalion Pay Clerks prepared the Acquaintance Rolls stating the names of soldiers to be paid on pay parades. The Paying Officer paid cash to the soldiers as stated in the Acquaintance Rolls and subsequently initialed the pay cards held by each soldier. The soldiers did not have to sign the Acquaintance Roll and the onus was on the Paying Officers to show honesty and transparency in conducting pay parades.Each of the Brigades operated a military account with a bank into which was credited the money for troops salaries and allowances for the month. No other funds or money was available to the brigades or units either as budgetary allocation or special grant. All the various department of the NA effectively discharged their responsibilities and the logistic requirement of all NA personnel were effectively catered for. The Ordinance had all the required stores procured by the Quartermaster General which were subsequently issued to units and their personnel. The Public Work Department effectively maintained the barracks and their facilities. The level of logistics support ad administration was effective, efficient and simple and the need for a multiplicity of funds and bank accounts operated by units did not arise. This system the British left behind functioned very well. The sudden outbreak of the civil was witnessed the influx of personnel as there was urgent need for troops to be used in prosecuting the war. As a result, this era witnessed astronomical increase in the size of the Army. The situation stretched the Army Pay and Records Office to a limit and it became imperative to recruit more pay officers and clerks. It became an all comers affair and all sorts of people were recruited not only into the Army but into the Army Pay and Records Office in particular. Funds disbursement became personal matters to individual Commanders and Pay Officers. Trunk boxes of cash moved about freely without adherence to financial procedures and sometimes never got to their destinations. This was coupled with other abuses of the lapses in the system which led to the collapse of financial procedures. The NA could hardly be said to have a discernible method of disbursing funds to units and their soldiers or accounting procedures and controls. This period particularly was a dark period for the Army Pay and Records Office as scams, scandals and financial crimes became the order of the day. The post war era saw things taking a different turn with the situation stabilizing and some forms of sanity and control being introduced into the system. A lot of misfits in the NA and the bad eggs in the Pay and Records Office who could not adjust to the changing times were either jailed or thrown out of the NA. The usual pay parades which were still being conducted on cash basis witnessed the introduction of cash control measures to minimize the hitherto high incidence of fraud associated with pay parades. Gradually, cash pay parades became out-fashioned and was replaced in 1979 with the introduction of payment of troops salaries through commercial banks. Individual units had bank accounts into which troops salaries and allowances were paid. The soldiers’ accounts were credited with their monthly pay and allowances. This method was however not without lapses but at least it was easier to check abuses. The Divisional Finance Offices held accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Such accounts were credited with funds for troops salaries and allowances through telegraphic transfers on monthly basis from the Lagos head office of the Central Bank of Nigeria where an Internal Bank Adjustment was used. The Internal Bank Adjustment Account was operated on the premise that money or funds will be made available through the Ministry of Defence for the use of the particular service in the Armed Forces. Operators of such accounts were to draw from the accounts to meet their units’ obligations whether or not there was adequate funds in the Internal Bank Adjustment Accounts. The understanding was that operators of the accounts in the Internal Bank Adjustment system could overdraw their accounts up to a specified limit authorized by the Central Bank of Nigeria pending when the operators accounts will be credited with more funds. The advantage of this system was that activities of government departments and Army formations and units were funded timely as long as the agreed limit at the Central Bank of Nigeria was not exceeded. The disadvantage of the Internal Bank Adjustment system was very obvious as the good intentions of government were massively exploited and abused. Huge balances on overdrawn accounts characterized the system. The effect of this abuse brought about the introduction of cash backing requirement and condition before drawn cheques could be honoured by the Central Bank of Nigeria. By extension, payment by Divisional Finance Offices to their units and creditors could only be honoured if the Cashier, Nigerian Army and any other medium of disbursement had the necessary funds in their own accounts. Quarterly budgetary allocations and other special releases were managed through the same system directly to user brigades and units without delay from the Division Headquarters. Brigades and units were allowed to open and operate accounts with commercial banks especially at locations where there was no branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
HISTORY OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE NIGERIAN ARMY FINANCE CORPS AS IT AFFECTS THE PAYROLL SYSTEM
Computerization of Nigerian Army Payroll System (NAPS) started in August 1983 at 2 Division Finance, Ibadan where a Payroll System was developed and packaged by Leventis Technical Nigerian Limited using TC 800 Mainframe Computers System. Two sets of Nigerian Army Payroll System Packages were implemented from 1998 to date. These were the Nigerian Army Payroll System (NAPS) 2003 and 2005 respectively. These payroll systems were developed from the old system by SIDMACH Technologies Nigeria Limited ... using BASICA Programming Language with modifications. NAPS 2005 is an upgrade of NAPS 2003 with the main aim of centralizing the database from the various pay-points in order to achieve efficiency and control. These achievements however left more to be desired for by the Finance Corps. The current trend of development in automation and internet in the Information Technology (IT) world has made it necessary to change NAPS 2005 to the Electronic Nigerian Army Payroll System (e-NAPS). Consequently, the CCAFA Maj Gen CE Airhiavbere formed an ICT Solution Team with the sole aim of solving the problems emanating from the payroll system and other ICT related services. Unified Data Nigeria Limited in conjuction with SOFTPAEDIA Systems and Technologies Nigeria Limited developed the e-NAPS.
THE NIGERIAN ARMY BIOMETRIC ENROLMENT
The Nigerian Army Biometric Enrolment Exercise (NABEE) was inaugurated during the COAS Conference of 2009 at Abuja. The Nigerian Army Finance corps (NAFC) commenced the biometric enrolment of the Nigerian Army (NA) personnel in September 2010. This was as a result of the continous improvement in the data integrity of the NA’s payroll database. The NABEE was designed to capture ten fingerprints and the facial geometry features of every NA personnelfor unique identification. This is with a view ... to keep abreast with fast changing technological trends and ensure compliance with government regulations and global best practice in budget management and payroll processing. It is further aimed at improving service delivery and meeting the needs of a modern Army. As at 31 March 2012, 99% of the NA personnel strength was enrolled using centralised and de-centralised enrolment process. This entailed an on-line real-time and offline enrolment process. Subsequently, the pay records of the remaining NA personnel strength not enrolled (less than than 1% – Mostly soldiers) were made inactive in the payroll database. There was however an exception to some officers who were not able to enrol due to official engagement/duties. The initial documentation and enrolment of young officers and soldiers is carried out at the Nigerian Defence Academy/Depot Nigerian Army (NDA/Depot NA) on a continual basis. The method adopted for the enrolment exercise at the NDA and Depot NA is the offline de-centralised method of biometric data capture and subsequent uploading of the data into the Electronic Nigerian Army Payroll System (e-NAPS). The NABEE has been consistent since inception. Conclusively, the Nigerian Army personnel biometric data is one of the most comprehensive data of its kind, and among all other government tiers.