•Says union recorded over 90% boycott compliance
•FG may extend enrollment deadline
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set to sanction its members in about seven universities who defied its directives and enrolled into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS).
It, however, added that notwithstanding the defiance by some of its members in the University of Benin (UNIBEN); Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife; Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State and University of Nsukka, Nsukka, it recorded about 90 per cent compliance with the union’s directive for lecturers to shun the IPPIS enrollment.
The Chairman of ASUU, Usman Dan Fodio University , Sokoto, Dr. Abubakar Sabo Yabo, told THISDAY that out of 1,200 ASUU members in the university, only six had enrolled.
The enrollment ended on December 7 but there were strong indications at the weekend that the federal government would extend it.
Abubakar said the six erring members would appear before the ethics and disciplinary committee to explain their action.
He added that if found culpable, they would be sanctioned, saying that the union got to know those who enrolled because its monitoring team was working with the enrollment officials appointed by the federal government.
Also the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Christian Opata, told THISDAY that 13 members of the union enrolled into IPPIS.
“We are waiting for the national leadership to give us directives on what to do to our members who decided to enroll into the scheme. It is not in the power of the branch chairman to sanction them. But the fact remains that they shall be sanctioned,” he said.
On his part, the zonal ASUU chairman, Dr. Jamilu Shehu, said only two academic staff enrolled at the Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State.
He added that at the end of the enrollment, the union would collate the names of those who enrolled and know the next line of action.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ilorin branch, Professor Salihu Moyosore Ajao, also told THISDAY that the national leadership of the union would mete out appropriate stiffer sanctions against those that enrolled into IPPIS.
Aja said the grievances and ethics committee of the union would be mandated to discipline those that flouted its directive.
“It is disheartening that some members of the union can contravene order of ASUU not to participate in the IPPIS registration exercise. But, the union would use its sledge hammer on such people that sneaked out to do the IPPIS registration exercise because the exercise is an illegal one that would not see the light of the day.
“There is grievances and ethics committee that is saddled with such issue and I know that appropriate sanctions would be meted out on such people so as to serve as a deterrent to others,” he added.
However, the University of Jos chapter of ASUU warned that if the federal government should stop members’ salaries over IPPIS, it would declare an indefinite strike.
The Chairman of the chapter, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, said there were other government agencies that are not on IPPIS, adding that the only excuse given by government for exempting them is that they are revenue-generating agencies.
Maigoro said, “We have not joined the IPPIS platform and we would not. The worse that can happen will be that government will stop our salaries, and we would also stop work. It will be ‘No Pay, No Work’.
“We have a monitoring team on ground that has ensured that no member from our branch has gone ahead to register. So, I can assure you that no member from our chapter has joined the IPPIS platform,” he added.
He stated that Ghana had something close to IPPIS, but not for academic institutions because it could not work in an academic institution with so much flexibility.
The Chairman of University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Prof. Deji Omole, told THISDAY that “none of our member is registering under the IPPIS scheme and so there is no basis to think of any sanction. Moreover, the scheme is not meant for us and as far as we are concerned, the position of ASUU on the scheme has not changed.”
However, at the Federal University, Oye (FUOYE), Ekiti State, the academic staff are currently divided over the introduction of the IPPIS.
While members of ASUU refrained from registration, a faction known as the Congress of University Academics(CONUA) registered in line with the directive from the federal government.
Speaking on the development, the Coordinator of the institution’s chapter of Congress of University Academics, Mr. Ayodeji Ebenezer Ige, justified his members’ participation in the IPPIS in defiance of ASUU’s position.
“We have come to understand that the policy
is good and capable of curbing corruption in the system. As I speak with you, I have just been captured by the IPPIS team, and scores of my members, who can read between the lines have followed my good example,” he told THISDAY.
But speaking on the contrary, the Vice Chairman of the institution’s chapter of ASUU, Dr. Habibatu Adubiaro, told THISDAY that ASUU members would not participate.
The Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola branch of ASUU, also said its members would not enroll into IPPIS programme and promised to punish members who enrolled.
The branch chairman of the union, Dr. Sadiq Umar, told THISDAY that the resolution for non-involvement was reached at the last emergency congress meeting of the union.
He said if any member of the union had divergent views, he should have raised his views at the congress.
The members of the ASUU at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), reiterated their stand not to register, saying that their stand “has not changed and will not change.”
Chairman of the FUTO ASUU, Dr. Echereobia Christopher, said no amount of intimidation would make them change, saying if the federal government decides to sack them and recruit university teachers from the market, “so be it.”
The ASUU Chairman at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, who spoke with THISDAY contended that the union has a way of dealing with any member who defies its directive.
But the spokesman of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) at the OAU, Dr. Henry Oripeloye, said CONUA members enrolled because they followed directives of the federal government.
He added that since the government has promised to address the peculiarities of academia in IPPIS, it is advisable that government should continue to engage in negotiations with stakeholders in the university system until all the peculiarities are addressed and an agreeable solution is reached.
The chairman of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, branch of ASUU, Prof. Rabiu Nasiru, also told THISDAY that appropriate action would be taken against members who enrolled into IPPIS.
The Federal University of Wukari (FUW) chapter of ASUU has also expressed its readiness to sanction any of its members that enrolled into the IPPIS platform.
The Chairman of the union in the institution, Prof. Kidzu Oweh, stated that ethics and disciplinary committee had been set up to sanction erring members.
The University of Benin chapter of ASUU is also set to punish its members who flouted the union’s stand against IPPIS.
The Chairman of the university chapter of ASUU, Dr. Monday Omoregie, said the body would at the appropriate time punish those lecturers who decided to disobey its stand.
“We are resolute on our stand that ASUU cannot be part of the exercise. Although you know that in our part of the world, there is bound to be dissidents. Even at that, their number is insignificant.
“Those lecturers that flouted ASUU directives we know them and at the appropriate time, they will face disciplinary action though that won’t border us now,” he added.
ASUU, Calabar Zone, also vowed to take actions against members who enrolled into IPPIS.
The Coordinator of the ASUU-Calabar zone, Dr Aniekan Brown, told THISDAY that “it is not possible that some members sneaked to enroll in the IPPIS registration centre because we have people monitoring to enforce the position of the union.”
The Nnamdi Azikiwe University branch of ASUU said none of its members enrolled into the IPPIS.
A former chairman of ASUU in the university, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, said the insinuations that some members had enrolled was not true.