Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the federal government of using the instrument of hunger to coerce its members to accept the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Nsukka Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Igbana Ajir who stated this during a press conference held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Friday disclosed that some members of the Union have not been paid their salaries for between five to nine months now.
He noted that the IPPIS which compels all staff in federal universities in Nigeria to enroll and be paid centrally both violates the autonomy of universities and contradicts the superiority of the Governing Councils in the control and management of university funds, employment, discipline and promotion of staff.
The Coordinator wondered why the federal government is refusing to adopt the University Accountability Solution (UTAS) which the union developed
as a replacement for IPPIS.
While noting that ASUU spent over N30million to develop UTAS at no cost to the federal government, Igbana maintained that the excuse that the UTAS platform must be presented to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) before certification for adoption and usage without a timeline is a ploy to delay and frustrate the efforts of the union.
He pointed out what he described as the apparent deficiencies inherent in, and the widely reported fraud being perpetrated by operators of IPPIS within and outside the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).
“ASUU has pointed out apparent deficiencies inherent in and the widely reported fraud being perpetrated by operators of IPPIS within and outside the Auditor General of the Federation’s (AGF) office.
“The National Assembly has equally acknowledged the monumental fraud in IPPIS when the AGF appeared before its Public Accounts Committee and could not defend the auditors’ query. However, government, through it’s agents, remains adamant on compelling ASUU members to enroll on IPPIS.”
Igbana observed that the current industrial dispute in the educational system was potentially preventable and had become unnecessarily prolonged.
“We therefore call on all well meaning Nigerians including the Press, labour leaders, civil society organizations, parents and students to prevail on Government to shelve the obnoxious and non functional programmes.
“In its stead, UTAS should be certified and domesticated for the Nigerian University System. Our Union believes that government should fulfil the items in the MoA that they willingly entered into with us in 2019 in order to restore the future of our students and protect the future of Nigeria,” ASUU concluded.