ASUU, Nigerian govt resume hostilities over IPPIS, governing councils

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the federal government may be heading for another showdown over an acceptable salary payment platform, as well as the constitution of new governing councils for the universities.

Last year, the Nigerian government announced it has exempted federal-owned tertiary institutions, including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics, from the use of the Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPIS) for the payment of their staff salaries and allowances.

The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, who announced the development while addressing State House correspondents following the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, said the new directive was to take immediate effect.

Mamman then said that the FEC observed that vice-chancellors of universities did not need to abandon their work to visit Abuja to process the salaries of their personnel as currently obtained.

However, DAILY POST findings showed that five months after President Bola Tinubu’s administration made the declaration, it’s yet to implement the new policy.

This is even as the Federal Government is said to have commenced plans to pay the salaries of lecturers in tertiary institutions through the Government Integrated Financial Management System, GIFMIS.

DAILY POST recalls that as an alternative to IPPIS, the union had suggested the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, for their payment instead.

The development implies that the government has ditched the UTAS proposed by the lecturers.

A lecturer at the University of Abuja told DAILY POST that nothing has changed in terms of the payment platform through which they receive salaries.

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According to him, last month’s salary was paid via IPPIS.

He, however, noted that an addition of the word ‘new’ to IPPIS was the only change noticed when they received notification for payment of salary.

He said: “Yes, we are still being paid with IPPIS. They just added ‘new’ to it.

“That’s, if you get the alert, you will see ‘new IPPIS’. I think it’s the same platform. It’s just a matter of nomenclature. They just added ‘new’ to the IPPIS, but it is still the same.

“It’s also part of the agitation. I read a report today that they are going back to GIMFS. But it is just a normal report that they do write just like they said last year that they were withdrawing lecturers’ salary payment from IPPIS.

“Even the National Assembly said something to that effect, but it has never happened till now.”

In a message to DAILY POST, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, ASUU branch chairperson, Comrade Nobert Oyibo Eze, confirmed that the federal government was yet to effect the announcement it made about ASUU exemption from IPPIS.

“No, it hasn’t,” Eze said, indicating that no changes have been effected.

When pressed to speak more about the matter, Eze told our correspondent to reach him at a later time.

DAILY POST recalls that the deployment of IPPIS by the government was one of the contentious issues that led to prolonged industrial strike between the ASUU and the federal government, lasting about eight months in 2022.

ASUU had then on every occasion accused the government of tampering with the autonomy enjoyed by the universities.

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It accused the office of the Head of Service of the Federation of taking over the work of the university governing councils and vice-chancellors.

The university workers had also complained of irregularities in the payment of its members’ emoluments, as some lecturers accused the government of shortchanging them.

Similarly, the University of Jos branch of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Tuesday called for immediate removal of its members from IPPIS as directed by the FEC since 2023.

The union also reiterated its call on the Federal Government to implement the nine demands presented to it.

The call was made by the UNIJOS branch of the Union during a peaceful protest in Jos, the state capital on Tuesday.

Presenting their letter of demands to the Vice Chancellor of the University, after a peaceful protest, Chairperson of ASUU-UNIJOS branch, Dr Jurbe Molwus, decried the inability of the government to fulfill the agreements reached with the union over the years.

ASUU demanded the immediate release of the Revitalisation Fund, immediate payment of salaries of members excluded or omitted from the payroll of the IPPIS.

“We demand the immediate removal of ASUU from IPPIS as directed by the Federal Executive Council since October, 2023.

“We call for the reinstatement of the Governing Councils of public universities that were illegally removed by the Bola Tinubu led government, in particular those whose tenure has not elapsed; they are free to constitute those who have exhausted their tenure,” the union demanded.

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God'swill Ofigo
Nigeria Blogger / Social Media Promoter/ Talent Manager/ Entertainer/ CEO OfyNaija Blog. WhatsApp: 0904709861

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