By Francis Sardauna
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the plan by the federal government to include university workers in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), describing it as a scam and threat to the university system.
The Sokoto Zonal Coordinator of the union, Jamilu Shehu, disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference held at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.
President Muhammadu Buhari had issued a directive for the implementation of the IPPIS for the payment of salaries of all federal government workers.
The president said any worker not on the platform will not receive salary with effect from October 31.
But the federal government and the national leadership of ASUU have disagreed over the new directive.
The ASUU zonal coordinator added that the attempt by the federal government to “forcefully” enrol staff of universities in the IPPIS was not only an illegality, but total violation of the university autonomy.
According to him, the IPPIS also violates university autonomy and FGN/ASUU agreement and did not tackle the peculiarity inherent in the nature and structure of universities.
Shehu explained that IPPIS does not capture the renumeration of staff on sabbatical, external examiners and assessors, earned academics allowances part time and consultancy services being rendered by lecturers across universities.
He stressed that the union viewed the claim by the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) that ASUU’s position against IPPIS is an endorsement of corruption as cheap blackmail and calculated attempt to sabotage university autonomy.
The ASUU zonal boss further affirmed that the failure of the federal government to inquire into the affairs of universities through the instrument of visitation panels was the real endorsement of corruption.
He said: “ASUU is bothered that IPPIS violates the provisions of the Establishment Act of all federal universities. Therefore, the attempt to forcefully enrol staff of universities in the IPPIS is not only an illegality, it also violates university autonomy.
“More also, contrary to the law expressly backing the governing council’s of each federal university to exercise full control over the finances of the universities, IPPIS lacks constitutional backing, neither is it supported by any Act of the National Assembly.
“ASUU is determined to oppose any policy that is aimed at thwarting the educational advancement of the country. If government insists on stopping the salaries of the university staff for not joining IPPIS, the union’s policy of no-pay-no-work will definitely be implemented.”
On the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, he said that the attempt at the renegotiation which ought to have been reviewed after three years, had failed due to what he called high handedness of a team formed by the government.
He reiterated that a seeming reluctance of the federal government to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion was frustrating the renegotiation.