By Raphael Jov
Leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if the federal government make any attempt to stop salaries of their members over Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU national president, Biodun Ogunyemi who addressed journalists in Abuja, after a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held at the Federal University of Technology, Minna from 7th-8th, December, 2019 said the Union shall activate its standing resolution of “No pay, No Work.”
Ogunyemi said the ochestrated moves by the Office of the Accountant General (OADF) and the Federal Ministry of Finance to impose the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) on Nigeria’s federal universities is part of government’s plan to distract the Union from calling for the conclusion of the truncated re-negotiation of the 2009 Agreement as well as the full implementation of the 7th February, 2019 Memorandum of Action (MoA) it reached with the Union.
“NEC did not only restate its unequivocal rejection of IPPIS as an ill-wind that will blow the Nigerian University System no good, it also resolved that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and outright misinformation of the Nigerian public will make ASUU lose focus on its historic role as the conscience of the university system.”
He noted that the Union is shocked that the OAGF said IPPIS is meant to comply with global best practices when they cannot tell Nigerians or any other country where IPPIS is extended to the universities as one of the best practices. “We call on all people of the goodwill to prevail on the Accountant General to respect university autonomy as the global best practice for the academia.”
The Union also lamented that IPPIS shouldn’t have been financed by a World Bank loan if the interests of those behind it are altruistic. “Again, if the goal is not the profit interests of IPPIS operators, why should a programme meant for professionalism and accountability in civil service be super-imposed on the university system? IPPIS is an unnecessary distraction to the serious business of the acdemia.
“We salute the courage of our members for resisting the tactics of the Accountant General of the Federation to cunningly migrate them to IPPIS platform. As resolved at the ASUI-NEC meeting, at FUT Minna on 7th-8th December, 2019, should the Accountant General make bold his threat of stopping the salaries of our members, the Union shall activate its standing resolution of “No pay, No work.”
The Union also warned against the unwarranted hostility of some Vice Chancellors towards individual members of ASUU, saying that NEC has resolved to engage those vice Chancellors as a sign of goodwill, but would be taken headlong is they continue in their antics.
Ogunyemi further assured Nigerian Students that the current struggle against IPPIS also has serious implications for them. “Those pushing for IPPIS or nothing else have made it clear that Vice Chancellors who employ contract officers, visiting lecturers, adjunct lecturers and experts from within Nigeria and abroad would have to pay the through IGR. The reality is that hardly could any university in Nigeria today totally dispense with the services of these category of acedmics in one form or the other.”
He added that ASUU believes government insistence on imposing IPPIS on University lecturers is an aberration and distraction from the substantive Challenge of repositioning the Nigerian University System for increased visibility in the global map. “It is like giving autonomy with one hand and taking it back with the other hand,” he said.