The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on strike action by November if the Federal Government goes ahead to withhold the October salary of Lecturers over their refusal to enrol in the ‘new’ payment system known as Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS)
This was coming after the Accountant General of the Federation last week said the staff of any university that failed to enrol in IPPIS would not be paid their October salaries.
The Nigerian government adopted the IPPIS as a centralised payment system in order to block leakages and curb corruption and has mandated all Federal ministries, departments and agencies of government including Federal University Lecturers to be enrolled in the system. However, the lecturers are saying there are sufficient inbuilt measures in the current structure of the university system ” that is capable of checkmating corruption”.
According to ASUU, imposing IPPIS on universities is not only a violation of university laws, especially the hard-earned autonomy, “it is a relegation of the federal government’s agreement with ASUU.” as it willcost federal universities their “hard-earned autonomy.”
Speaking on the planned strike, the ASUU’s Zonal Coordinator for Bauchi zone, Lawal Abubakar said that the zone already have a standing order of ‘no salary no work’ which means the members would not turn up for work should they not receive their salary alerts on the last day of the month.
On how the IPPIS may affect lecturers, Abubakar said “the university may no longer be able to assist a lecturer who has issues with either his research allowances, or his rent allowance or his retirement benefits, because such a lecturer would have to travel to Abuja before he or she can get that done. But the university system is too dynamic for such delays and bottleneck.
“Secondly, the university system is so flexible that a lecturer may decide to disengage from service at any time. So should such a situation arises, and a vice-chancellor whose university has lost its autonomy needs to get replacement, must have to go through some offices in Abuja; and when such officers would insist they have their candidate included in the list. A VC that rejects this would have to suffer the consequences of future denials of approvals, ” he said.
“No one can force ASUU to sign into IPPIS because the system requires us to fill the form, get our biometric data captured before one can be in the payment system.”
“We are not going to do that. And should they withhold our salaries, there is a standing instruction that we don’t show up for work a day after the last day of the month,” he said.