Nigeria: IPPIS - No Going Back On October Deadline, Govt Tells ASUU

29 October 2019

The Federal Government says the October deadline it gave all ministries, departments and agencies of government to enrol in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System stands.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, in a statement yesterday, described the ASUU's opposition to the compulsory migration of all federal government staff to the IPPIS as an "open endorsement of corruption".

He stated: "ASUU opposition to IPPIS is an open endorsement to corruption in the Nigeria University system as the IPPIS platform will not allow employment of workers at will without compliance to due process on employment."

He noted that the IPPIS, a policy of government for which President Muhammadu Buhari directed that all MDAs drawing their salary from Consolidated Revenue Funds should join by the end of October 2019, was aimed at saving costs and wastages.

The AGF, who said other unions in the universities, had complied, advised ASUU to do same before the deadline.

He said: "To meet the deadline of government, the process of enrolment is on-going; we, therefore, urge all university staff to ensure they enrol on to the IPPIS platform.

"It is a known practice all over the world that employees are entitled to their salaries and wages as at when due. That notwithstanding, there is nowhere employees dictate to their employers as to how he or she should be paid as being dictated by ASUU."

Meanwhile, ASUU President Biodun Ogunyemi yesterday said "the IPPIS is a scam as it creates more problems than it solves".

Ogunyemi, at a meeting met with the Senate leadership said the IPPIS would undermine universities' autonomy and infringe on academic freedom.

He said with the recent experiences of other MDAs that implemented the IPPIS, vis-à-vis the peculiar nature of universities, ASUU members across different universities had reservations about the imposition of the IPPIS on them.

"One of the biggest challenges of IPPIS is that it poses a great threat to our national security. The system is not strategic for a sovereign nation in a world system where almost all countries are vulnerable to sabotage by international cyber criminals and states.

"Once such sabotage happens, the entire country would be plunged into confusion and dysfunction. This has happened before and can happen again.

"It will constitute an impediment in the way of the ability of the universities to provide staff for new programmes as well as replace staff. This is because new staff members cannot be paid salaries until they are enrolled into the IPPIS database, which will take months to actualize.

"The IPPIS system only recognizes staff members that are on permanent and pensionable appointments. Universities are universal in outlook in terms of recruitment of staff and student intake.

According to him, "the IPPIS restricts the ability of universities to employ much needed staff at short notice. Such staff, when recruited, may not be paid until cleared by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, thus creating avenues of corruption.

"The dynamism associated with staff recruitment will become cumbersome with the introduction of IPPIS. Lecturers in Colleges/ Faculties of Medicine serving as honorary consultants in teaching hospitals and consultants serving as honorary lecturers would face problems collecting their proper remunerations, as it is currently the case with some allowances of our members in Basic Medical Sciences.

"The IPPIS is designed in such a way that outsourced services such as cleaning and security, casual workers, NYSC, etc. cannot be captured.

"The IPPIS platform does not allow for deductions from staff salaries arising from legally sanctioned union and cooperative society activities. This will directly infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of staff to association."

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said: "My worry has always been why government will sign agreements that they know are difficult and sometimes impossible to implement. I'm meeting with the Minister of Finance to tell us what exactly is to be done because we do not want any strike".

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