By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU on Monday urged the federal and State government to stop the war strategy of starvation under the radar of Integrated Personnel Payroll, IPPIS by paying its members salaries in the interest of justice.
The advice was contained in a press release by the Benin Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh and five other leaders of the branch in Benin City.
The Benin Zone, comprising University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, (AAUE), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSETECH), Delta State University, Abraka (DELSU) and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), described the forceful application of IPPIS by the federal and State governments during negotiations as a deliberate ploy to cripple the Nigerian University system.
Giving a background of what led to the indefinite strike action that was declared by the national leadership of ASUU, blamed the strike on the federal government forceful application of IPPIS and refusal to implement the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements and the 2013 Memorandum of Association (MoU) the government voluntarily entered with the Union and other demands which were aimed at addressing the wroth in Nigeria education system.
“Consequently, the Zone views government’s insistence and forceful application IPPIS, even when the Union is in discussion with Government representatives, as a deliberate ploy to cripple the Nigerian University system. The Zone calls on Government to stops the WAF strategy of starvation by paying our members salaries”.
The University don stated that the irregularities experienced by affiliate Unions in Nigerian Universities like SAANU, NAAT, and NASU members in the payment of February 2020 salaries who enrolled on the IPPIS, have lend credence to ASUU position that that “IPPIS has failed all forms of integrity test, as the platform or software for the payment of University workers”.
He urged the government to bear a retreat and embrace the proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) being developed by ASUU members to pave the way for the smooth running of public Universities in Nigeria.
Esumeh explained further that “the indefinite strike is against our students or the parents, but, it is to compel the federal government to do the needful by providing a decent learning environment and improve the quality of Nigerian graduates.
According to him, “Some of our members who went to enrol on IPPIS have started running to us for help. There was a case when a Vice Chancellor who enrolled on IPPIS was paid N57,000 thousand as his monthly instead of over a million Naira, he said.