James Emejo in Abuja
Strong indications emerged thursrday that university lecturers who were not enrolled on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) may not receive their December salaries.
Sources privy to an unfolding development, said President Muhammadu Buhari intended to make good his threat that no federal worker would be exempted from the platform, which has an ultimate objective to reduce revenue leakages, especially the issue of ghost workers in the public sector.
Since the inception of IPPIS however, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had expressed its objection to being enrolled, citing the peculiarities in the academic environment.
But the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, had insisted that ASUU’s opposition to IPPIS was an open endorsement to corruption, an allegation promptly denied by ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi.
The federal government had ordered a two-week enrollment exercise for university lecturers nationwide, which ended on December 7.
The exercise ended in a controversy and division among the lecturers as some managed to be enrolled, despite a directive from their umbrella body to shun the exercise.
There are however, uncertainty on whether the government will carry out its threat by denying the ivory workers’ payment starting from this month- or further extend the enrolment in the universities.
The federal government is yet to make a categorical statement since the enrolment exercise was recently concluded.
However, one of the sources who spoke to THISDAY under conditions of anonymity, said the presidential directive may be implemented, adding that President Muhammadu was bent on having the lecturers on IPPIS.
He said: “The objective is to ensure that we have a centralised system where workers would be paid and this has helped us to better manage the payroll of government.
“The government graciously gave them (ASUU) a window through which every university workers can be enrolled. That exercise had ended.
“As we speak, many people have been registered. If anyone is not registered, then he bears the consequences of his or her actions.”
Ogunyemi had further questioned the sincerity of government in fighting corruption with IPPIS when some other revenue generating agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were yet to be put on IPPIS. The union had also threatened to embark on strike should government seize their pay.
The government had however, insisted that it was only a matter of time before every agency of government is fully captured on the platform.