The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday countered the directive issued by a breakaway faction, the National Steering Committee of the Congress of University Academics, last Saturday, directing university lecturers who belong to the splinter group to immediately begin enrolment in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive.
The leadership of the group, which is a faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), disclosed that the decision to enrol on IPPIS, against the stand of Academic Staff Union of Universities, was reached at a meeting of CONUA National Steering Committee.
It added that National Steering Committee of the group had earlier held a meeting with the Minister of Finance and her team that had the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Director, IPPIS, and others on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
CONUA said the meeting focused on addressing the peculiarities of the academia in the implementation of IPPIS and other issues, positing that the NSC after deliberating on the report of the meeting agreed that its members should enrol on IPPIS platform.
A statement signed by the CONUA National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu and, the National Publicity Coordinator, Dr Ernest Nwoke, said the group agreed to enrol on the platform with faith that the Federal Government would fulfil its promise of prompt action on any issue that arose in the implementation of the policy.
The statement, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Osogbo, read, “That CONUA members are in full support of every policy and effort of government to reform the Nigerian public financial system with a view to combating corruption and thereby sanitising our educational system.
“That the IPPIS being one of such efforts is welcome by CONUA in the light of government’s assurance on accommodating the peculiarities of the academia.
“That CONUA notes the Federal Government’s promise to address any other issues that may arise, through the desk offices to be placed in the bursary unit of each university.
“That, in view of the foregoing, CONUA implores members to enrol on the IPPIS platform with a strong belief that government would reciprocate our good faith.”
Reacting to the development, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its members to disregard a circular from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to enroll academic staff on the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) from today.
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof Deji Omole made this declaration in a statement made available to newsmen, in Ibadan, yesterday.
It was gathered that the union and the Federal Government had in the last few months been engaged in the battle of words over the IPPIS.
It was gathered that the office of Accountant General of the Federation through a newspaper advert had said it will dispatch her staff to universities from November 25, 2019, for enrollment of staff into the IPPIS.
But Omole while reacting declared that the union’s leadership was still in discussion with the Federal Government and helping the government to develop more robust template.
However, ASUU has described it as a scam and offered to design a template that will accommodate university peculiarities.
He maintained that the same Accountant General of the Federation had challenged the union to develop a template that accommodates the peculiarities of academic staff and present same to it.
Omole urged ASUU members not submit themselves to be enrolled into slave plan of the Accountant General whose office stinks with corruption.
According to Omole, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, as an academic, understands this peculiarities and had benefitted immensely from the peculiarities.
The ASUU boss said no ASUU member should appear before the Accountant General team until further directive of the union.
According to him, while ASUU supports fight against corrupt, it will resist attempt by government to trample on existing university autonomy Act.
He urged members to remain steadfast and stand firm to protect public universities by not filling any form or submit their bio-data for enrollment into the IPPIS.
“This is to remind you that the union’s position on IPPIS has not changed. Pending the resolution of the matter evidence, of which shall be communicated to all members of our union; no member of the union is to enlist on the platform.
“NEC position on the matter has not been reviewed, therefore NO ASUU MEMBER IS TO FILL THE FORM or submit their bio-data before any team. We are not slaves that cannot be subjected to routine humiliation from the office of the accountant general.
“No nation has ever developed or survived through the humiliation of her intellectuals. United we bargain, divided we beg”.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM), Benue State, Prof. Richard Kimbir, has denied that vice chancellors were against enrollment of staff on the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
Kimbir stated this in Makurdi in a news briefing to mark his two years in office.
He said it was staff unions, especially Association of University Unions (ASUU), that were against the enrollment.
He said VC’s were not in control of university funds.
“It is not correct that vice-chancellors are against IPPIS. It is the unions especially ASUU that are against it and they have given reasons as to why they don’t want it.