The Benin Zone of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has urged the Federal and state governments to stop the war strategy of starvation using the Integrated Personnel Payroll (IPPIS) by paying its members’ salaries in the interest of justice.
The advice was contained in a press statement signed by the Benin Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh and five other leaders of the zone.
The Benin Zone, comprises University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, (AAUE), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSETECH), Delta State University, Abraka (DELSU) and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE).
The statement described the forceful application of IPPIS by the Federal and state governments during negotiations as a deliberate ploy to cripple the Nigerian university system.
Giving a background of what led to the indefinite strike declared by the national leadership of ASUU, the zone blamed the strike on the Federal government’s forceful application of IPPIS and refusal to implement the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements and the 2013 Memorandum of Association (MoU) the government voluntarily entered with the union and other demands which were aimed at addressing the rot in Nigeria education system.
“Consequently, the zone views government’s insistence and forceful application of IPPIS, even when the union is in discussion with government representatives, as a deliberate ploy to cripple the Nigerian University system. The zone calls on government to stop the WAF strategy of starvation by paying our members salaries,” the statement said.
It noted that the irregularities experienced by affiliate unions in Nigerian universities like SAANU, NAAT, and NASU members in the payment of February 2020 salaries who enrolled on the IPPIS, had lent credence to ASUU’s position that that “IPPIS has failed all forms of integrity test, as the platform or software for the payment of university workers”.
The statement urged the government to beat a retreat and embrace the proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) being developed by ASUU members to pave the way for the smooth running of public Universities in Nigeria.
It explained that “the indefinite strike is not against our students or the parents, but it is to compel the federal government to do the needful by providing a decent learning environment and improve the quality of Nigerian graduates.
“Some of our members who went to enrol on IPPIS have started running to us for help. There was a case when a vice chancellor who enrolled on IPPIS was paid N57,000 thousand as his monthly salary nstead of over a million Naira”, the statement claimed.