Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has warned the Federal Government that its members will embark on industrial action as soon as universities are reopened if their conditions are not met.
National Vice President of SSANU, Mr. Alfred Jimoh, made the disclosure when he addressed journalists at the weekend in Ibadan over the looming strike, saying the hope of having a peaceful post COVID-19 industrial harmony in federal universities would only be a mirage, except issues such as unpaid arrears of earned allowances, inadequacies of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), and double deduction of pension are addressed.
According to him, “It is indeed very saddening that the Earned Allowances of our members, which arose from the 2009 FGN/SSANU Agreement are still largely unattended to as government and its agents have often acted in respect of this issue in a way that suggests that for as long as the Earned Allowances of the Teaching staff are paid, even though if that of the Non-Teaching staff are not paid, there would be little or no problem.”
“We like to state categorically that this is both erroneous and fallacious. SSANU is seriously mobilizing to engage the government over the unpaid arrears of the Earned Allowances of its members across the country as soon as schools are reopened.”
“Unless government attends to all the issues placed before it through our various communications with it; the hope of having peaceful post COVID industrial atmospheres in our University campuses and Inter University centres post COVID-19 might as well be a mmirag.”
Speaking on why the association is opposing IPPIS, Jimoh stated that the platform did not accommodate all the peculiarities of the university system, adding that just as the Academic Staff Union of of Universities (ASUU) developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as alternative to IPPIS, SSANU has also developed an alternative platform, University General Purpose Payment Platform (UG3P).
“IPPIS which is a payment platform adopted by the Federal government to pay its staff since 2014, but fully deployed in the university and Inter University centres effective from February, 2020, has turned out to be a huge embarrassment to SSANU.”
“Contrary to our expectation and assurances that the platform has been worked upon to accommodate all the peculiarities of the university system and the symphony of a platform to put an end to corruption in the system, all of which government used to hoodwink us into buying into the platform, we have found out albelt saddling that IPPIS has turned out to be a monumental failure and embarrassment to us as it has presented the leadership and followership of SSANU in very bad light. Government and the managers of IPPIS have failed to walk their talk”
“We like to place on record here that the non-remittance of third party deduction has very serious negative effect on both the union (SSANU) and its members. For instance, it has incapacitated the various staff Cooperatives and starved them of needed fund for loans for members. On the part of the union, it has seriously hampered the activities of SSANU, particularly the ability to our branches to mobilize delegates for union functions,” Jimoh said.