- There are fears that ASUU may soon embark on strike following recent action by the federal government
- This government has stopped the payment of lecturers who haven't enrolled on IPPIS triggering fears that the lecturers might embark on a strike in protest
- IPPIS deducts and remits third party payments from the salaries of federal government workers
The federal government has stopped the payment of salaries of higher institutions’ lecturers yet to enrol in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
A letter from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation addressed to the minister of finance and national planning requested the stoppage of the payments.
“l am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and Warrants of the Federal Tertiary institutions are ongoing and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020,” part of the letter read.
The IPPIS secretariat is a department domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has consistently kicked against enrollment in IPPIS, saying the central payroll system violates university autonomy.
There are now fears that following the government's decision, ASUU might embark on a strike.
The leadership of the union is yet to, however, react to the recent decision by the federal government.
ASUU president, Biodun Ogunyemi, recently dismissed some media reports suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the stoppage of salaries of lecturers who failed to register on the IPPIS.
Ogunyemi who said the meeting of ASUU with President Buhari on Thursday, January 9 was called solely to discuss IPPIS which ASUU rejected, “and still rejects, for sound reasons.”
The ASUU president recently said implementing the IPPIS would mean asking lecturers to make the trip to the capital city of Abuja for physical biometric data capture, should lecturers not be available when IPPIS personnel visit schools for the capture.
His words: “The implementation of IPPlS in Nigerian Universities will further localise their operations and perspectives, thus negatively impacting their ranking in the global academic community.
“For example, the promotion exercise in the professional cadre, which is subject to an external assessment that may last for several months; in such cases, when the outcome of the exercise is returned positive, the beneficiary is paid arrears from the beginning of the assessment process. But this cannot be captured by IPPIS.
“The IPPIS does not recognise the 70 years retirement age of academics in the professorial cadre, and 65 years for those in the non-professorial cadre, as against the 60 years in the civil service.
“Technically speaking, IPPlS is a scam. It creates more problems than it pretends to solve. The IPPIS system only recognises staff members that are on permanent and pensionable appointments.
“The IPPIS restricts the ability of universities to employ much-needed staff at short notice. Such staff, when recruited, may not be paid until cleared by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), thus creating avenues of corruption. The dynamism associated with staff recruitment will become cumbersome with the introduction of IPPIS.”
Recall that a former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, had appealed to members of ASUU to enrol into the federal government's IPPIS.
Ibidapo-Obe, who is the pro-chancellor of the Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun state, urged the ASUU members to comply with the directive of the government concerning the IPPIS, adding that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune.”
A former director in the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah, says ASUU’s hardball over the implementation of the IPPIS makes no sense.
His words: “President Buhari is paid from IPPIS, as are judges. IPPIS hasn’t fixed their retirement age at 60 years. The military is on IPPIS. They have allowances and foreign duty. But let’s continue to be held hostage by ASUU and to prioritize political interest over national interest.
“The government should use the ASUU rejection of IPPIS as a starting point to the dismantling of the unworkable system of managing tertiary education in Nigeria. No employee should be able to dictate to their employer the payment system the employer should use. Enough is enough!”
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