Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described the office of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as a “cesspool of corruption” being allegedly backed by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
The Union equally said that obtaining a loan of $140 million to procure software and train staff for the single purpose of IPPIS by the Federal Government, when ASUU freely offered similar software solution, was a “massive fraud” on the part of the government.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday at the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) Ijebu-Ode, the Coordinator, Lagos Zone of ASUU, Olusiji Sowande, berated the Federal Government for turning deaf ears to several calls by ASUU on the need to investigate the supposed fraud being perpetrated in IPPIS office.
Sowande added that the claim by the Federal Government of using IPPIS as an instrument of fighting corruption is a farce, saying “IPPIS is to centralise corruption with IPPIS and Office of the Accountant-General as the headquarters.”
He insisted that the Union will not be cowed into enrolling its members on the Federal Government’s salary payment platform, noting that “IPPIS is not only against the extant laws of the universities and their autonomy but practically lacks the capacity to accommodate the peculiarities of the university and the consequent implication of aligning the university with the core civil service practices.”
According to Sowande, members of the Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) who had been coerced to join IPPIS had their salaries reduced, while the payroll platform had failed to remit cooperative and other deductions.
The Zonal Coordinator, who disclosed that some professors and Vice-Chancellors received N55,000 and N58,000 salaries, respectively, through IPPIS, added the university staff whose salary accounts were in the microfinance banks had been exempted by the IPPIS.
Sowande said that although the Federal Government had stopped salaries of ASUU members with effect from February, ASUU will not be deterred from its patriotic resistance to the deployment of IPPIS in universities.
While urging Nigerians to show understanding and support the Union in the “patriotic and lawful struggle for continued existence and survival of Nigerian public universities,” Sowande declared that our “Union will not surrender to blackmail and intimidation from government, and will not hesitate to embark on total, comprehensive and indefinite industrial action to wrestle the public universities from the clutches of prowling jackals in government”.