SWITZERLAND, OCTOBER 28 – Nigerians have taken to the social media to criticise the Academic Staff Union of Universities over its stance on the Federal Government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for public service workers.
The IPPIS is a technology-based automated payroll system introduced by the government a few years ago, with the plan to eventually enrol all public sector workers in it.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had during the 2020 budget presentation at the National Assembly on October 8, ordered that all public sector workers must register for the IPPIS to save cost and fight corruption by blocking leakages in the Federal Government’ s salary payment structure.
But ASUU had last week opposed the President’ s directive, saying the IPPIS negated the law on university autonomy .
The academic body has said the current model being used by the Federal Government to run federal universities has turned vice-chancellors of the institutions to errand boys.
ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, noted that a situation whereby vice-chancellors were constrained to go to Abuja over issues pertaining to funding, recruitment and running of the institutions was a mockery of the peculiarity of universities and the autonomy they should enjoy.
Ogunyemi, in an interview with newsmen on Friday night, explained that the Federal Government’s insistence that all its agencies and institutions must be on the IPPIS was an attempt to return universities to the civil service. He stressed that the union was against the move.
ASUU, Nsukka Zone over the weekend, also said that the IPPIS cannot be applicable in the university system.
Addressing a press conference in Makurdi, the union maintained that there are extant legal provisions and negotiated agreements arising from the nature and peculiarities of the Nigerian universities which make IPPIS in its current form inappropriate and inapplicable to the university system.
The Accountant-General of the Federation , Alhaji Ahmed Idris , who faulted ASUU , said the union ’s position was an open endorsement of corruption.
Also, the Minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had on Thursday said no government agency must resist the payment system.
The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi, on Sunday confirmed ASUU’ s meeting with the National Assembly leadership.
Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie, has also alleged that , ASUU, is opposed to plans by the federal government to impose IPPIS on its members because of their fraudulent practices.
This was after Buhari directed that any worker not on the IPPIS would no longer receive monthly salary.
Speaking on the proposed opposition of ASUU against IPPIS, Onochie said via her verified Twitter handle on Sunday: “Reason ASUU is fighting the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) is that many Lecturers dash from one university to another as full-time Lecturers.
“The IPPIS will expose those with multiple full-time jobs.”
Nigerians have also joined the fray, making comments on Twitter and other online forums.
On Twitter, prominent public policy analyst, Dr Ojoe Abah said; “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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