Uche Usim, Abuja
The brawl between the Federal Government and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) over the implementation of the controversial Independent Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) is set to create a fresh round of petrol scarcity as the latter has directed its members nationwide to shutdown.
The government had stopped the payment of salaries of its workers not captured on the electronic platform, including PENGASSAN members.
The union, in a memo, said it earlier reached an agreement with the government to pay the outstanding salaries as IPPIS dialogue continues but nothing concrete has come out of it.
Consequently, PENGASSAN, via its General Secretary, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, has directed all its branch chairmen across the country to withdraw their services from 12 midnight of November 8, 2020.
In the letter which reads in part: “We refer to the above letter dated November 2nd, 2020 where we gave a 7-day ultimatum and further extension to the relevant government agencies and institutions. Regrettably and upon expiration of the ultimatum, nothing concrete has been done with regards to the outstanding issues as enumerated in the letter.
The Union had in September staged a peaceful protest at the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Finance demanding that the government pay outstanding salaries of its members that had been stopped by the government.
The latest strike threat has led to panic buying as motorists fill up the tanks of their vehicles and Jerry cans.
IPPIS was created as a waste plugging mechanism to enable the government run a lower and more efficient wage bill.
Managed by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, all government workers are to be mandatorily enrolled on it or have their salary payment halted.
The government has gone ahead to withhold the salaries of those that are yet to enroll on IPPIS including PENGASSAN members that are under it’s payroll.
The Union urged the branch chairmen to “ensure that your Branch members fully comply with the directive while you await further directive,’ General Secretary, Okugbawa added.
The federal government is also embroiled in another war with the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) over IPPIS.