The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has again vowed to resist any threat by the Federal Government over its continuous rejection of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). Besides, the union insisted that not even the government’s plan to stop their monthly wage bill would compel the dons to withdraw their initial stand.
President Muhammadu Buhari had while presenting the 2020 budget proposal to the National Assembly, had declared: “I have directed the stoppage of the salary of any Federal Government staff (sic) that is not captured on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform by the end of October 2019.”
With the development, the affected workers would not only fail to receive their salaries this month and the next, but they also face the prospect of a cash-strapped Christmas celebration. Following last Tuesday’s National Economic Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had told reporters: “It is a pity if ASUU carries out this strike because what ASUU is saying now is that they should be treated differently from other staff of the government of Nigeria who is also on IPPIS. We will be engaging ASUU. We will be discussing it with them. But at the end of the day, as far as I am concerned, my instruction is from the president.”
But addressing journalists at Bayero University, Kano (BUK) at the weekend, the coordinator in Kano, Professor Mahmoud Lawan, contended that the union unanimously rejected the use of force by government to enroll its members on the IPPIS platform, which was not supported by extant laws.
According to Lawan, enrolling the teachers on IPPIS negates university autonomy and will also erode extant laws establishing universities in Nigeria. Urging Nigerians to hold the government responsible for whatever resulted from its decision, the ASUU coordinator vowed to sustain the union’s rejection of IPPIS.
“The use of IPPIS in the universities lacks legal basis as it contradicts the existing legal frameworks upon which Nigerian universities are established. These laws are the Nigerian Universities Miscellaneous Provisions (2003) Act, which granted the governing councils of universities absolute right and freedom without let or hindrance to govern universities for the common management, growth and development of the universities.
“In addition to this, the Universities Miscellaneous Provision (2003) Act, each university has its own peculiar act establishing it and the act provides for the council to be the governing body of the university and is responsible for the control and superintendence of the policy, finance and property of the university,” he said.
The union called on the Federal government to, without further delay, address the problems allegedly instigated by Dr. wale Babalakin in the re-negotiation committee and conclude the re-negotiation “for the betterment of our education systems and stop misleading the ill- informed public with the issue of IPPIS as if it is the solution to myriad problems facing our universities.”