The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the federal government has been “amputating” lecturers’ salaries with the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
In an interview with The Punch, Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU president, said the federal government paid lecturers who were not registered on the IPPIS without capturing their biometrics and other information.
In March, the federal government ordered stoppage of salaries of lecturers and all workers in tertiary institutions who are not enrolled in the IPPIS.
Some lecturers, who were not on IPPIS, threatened to embark on strike if they did not receive their salaries, but they were later paid.
ASUU rejected the federal government’s directive for workers to enroll in the centralised payroll system, saying it would affect the autonomy of universities.
In April, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the immediate payment of the withheld salaries of February and March for lecturers in federal universities who have not registered on the IPPIS.
But the ASUU president said the payment process was not straightforward.
“The first comment is that we wondered how they could have used the IPPIS platform when our members didn’t submit BVN or sign into IPPIS. The impression we were given before is that before the government could use IPPIS, people must submit themselves for data capture, biometrics capture and so forth. But that did not happen in this instance,” Ogunyemi said.
“So if the government could go ahead and use the IPPIS to pay salaries, it means our suspicion is being confirmed which means they can manipulate that platform as they want. This is because if people who did not register on IPPIS are being paid through IPPIS, it means that anybody can be imported into that system and that has been our suspicion all along. We have said that the IPPIS is not waterproof as claimed.
“Secondly, by using IPPIS to pay our members (because in the alert, it was clearly stated there; the IPPIS was mentioned in the alert) we have also seen the inadequacies of that platform. When the government called us for a meeting in July 2019, it said all the fears had been addressed. How come, this time around, by using the IPPIS, you distorted people’s salaries?
“Our members are saying the government amputated their salaries. They removed from some people’s salaries. The pay slips are nowhere and the cooperative deductions, union dues and all the third party deductions are nowhere to be found. You now start to wonder whether this is the system we need.
“As we have been saying, the alternative we have been working on is in progress and we will soon unveil it to Nigerians.”
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