Gabriel Dike, Lagos
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has advised the Accountant-General of the Federation to address the grey areas observed in the implementation of the contentious Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) rather than dish out “falsehoods” to Nigerians in an attempt to paint university lecturers black.
ASUU branches in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in separate statements signed by their chairmen, Dr Dele Ashiru and Dr Austen Sado, respectively, urged the Accountant-General to tackle the anomalies observed in the implementation of IPPIS.
The Accountant-General, Mr Ahmed Idris, through his Director of Information, Press and Public Relations, Mr Henshaw Ogubike, had said ASUU is engaged in cheap propaganda to denigrate the IPPIS.
Dr Ashiru had described the statement as falsehood and misinformation designed to cover-up the unprofessional conduct, incompetence and ineptitude in the implementation of IPPIS.
”For the avoidance of doubt, ASUU’‛s principled objection and rejection of the IPPIS has been unequivocal, categorical and remain unwavering even in spite of its forceful and illegal deployment in the payment of the much discredited February and March salaries of our members,’ he stated.
According to him, ASUU made a legitimate complaint about strange and unusual deductions from their salaries and allowances that are in the first instance anything but a living wage and that the least expected of the Accountant-General is to ameliorate the situation and not engage in outright falsehood.
‘We challenge IPPIS to make public any document emanating from ASUU to IPPIS requesting for any concession in the deployment of the much discredited IPPIS. The correct position is that ASUU rejected IPPIS platform in its totality from inception and we would continue to do so because it is anathema to the progress and development of the Nigerian University System.,’ Dr Ashiru said.
The UNILAG branch chairman said the OAGF and the IPPIS office accessed the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of ASUU members, which is against the laws of the land, to pay the two months salaries, adding that ‘curiously, the OAGF is accusing lecturers who did not submit their BVN, that the BVN could not be validated?
”Let us grant without necessarily conceding that the university bursaries submitted the names of dead and retired personnel to IPPIS, is that not the very problem the IPPIS was flaunting to eliminate? Why then the outburst and lamentation over glaring professional incompetence and deceit. IPPIS as we have maintained and as the Auditor General’‛s Report has now confirmed, is a cesspool of monumental institutional corruption and systemic fraud.’
On his part, Dr Sado faulted the position of OAGF on Personal Income Tax paid by university lecturers and asked how much was involved in the payback to the state governments, and on whose behalf were the payments made.
The UNIPORT branch chairman disagreed with the OAGF position that lecturers salaries have been consolidated and asked how he derived the 2.5% of basic salary which he forcefully and fraudulently deducted from staff salaries.
He stressed that the OAGF does not have the powers to forcefully register academic staff on the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme without an identification/registration number which is given only by the Federal Mortgage Bank.
”The operation of IPPIS in the university system is an illegality that ASUU will continue to resist. Even without the manifest inefficiencies of IPPIS, it is still an illegality that academics in Nigerian universities would not lend themselves to any office or individual in violation of the laws of the land in order to ingratiate the twisted estimation of their worth,’ Dr Sado explained.