Another round of strike in public universities is likely over the enrollment in the Integrated Payment Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
As the government is set to stop payment to varsity teachers who declined to enroll in the payment system, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to enforce its ‘no pay no work’ decision.
At the weekend, the federal government accused many of the lecturers of collecting multiple salaries.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha said when he received the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mohammed Nami said some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities “are collecting three to four salaries per month.” But he did not elaborate.
But ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, described the comment as an exaggeration and a distortion of facts, stating that the union would respond appropriately if the Federal Government went ahead to stop the salaries of its members..
Ogunyemi alleged that the government had taken a loan of $140 million for the implementation of the IPPIS, hence the reason why it was bent on enrolling lecturers on the platform.
He said: “What the SGF said about lecturers drawing salaries from three or four places in a month could not have been the true picture. It is not possible. It is an exaggeration. They are just exaggerating and distorting facts.
“Even if they want to prove that lecturers collect salaries from three to four places in a month, they don’t need IPPIS to prove it. The Treasury Single Account is there to tract all the accounts of lecturers and with their accounts, you can know where monies are coming from.
“Are they saying they cannot tract these people and advertise them? Let them publish the number. They don’t need IPPIS to achieve this.
“Actually, what they are trying to do is to justify a loan they have taken to implement IPPIS. We are aware that they took a loan of $140 million . Somebody must spend that money and they are insisting that universities should be their target now because we know all the issues behind all of these.
“This country is being sold out to foreign powers. Those countries they visit, let them tell us one example of a country where they implement IPPIS. It is never done.
“Universities operate flexible personnel system and it is to establish and validate their autonomy. Now they want a system where any lecturer that is coming to the university will have to visit Abuja to go and enlist in IPPIS. It is never done.
“What we are saying is that our alternative is better than IPPIS. If they allow us to implement our own system, any new person that is added to the payroll they will know at the office of the Accountant- General. That is what we are telling them. It is that simple.
“But they sent out people that are creating drama. Those they sent out were even taking names of people to be put on the IPPIS; they were taking them to the universities because they want to bring in their own relations and those people they have gone into some negotiation with.
“The corruption they think that they are going to check at the universities, they are already perpetrating at the IPPIS office. Let nobody tell us about that. We know what is happening with IPPIS and if they should go ahead to stop the salaries of our members will respond appropriately.”