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By: Ade Adeleke
Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) on Friday described a corruption platform, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS), calling on the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate alleged mismanagement of N273billion saved from IPPIS platform.
The Union said the platform had been turned to “food for the boys” by some public office holders, insisting that the integrated system had been shielding and encouraging corruption.
ASUU coordinator for Akure Zone, Professor Olufayo Olu-Olu made the call while addressing a news conference at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) in the Ondo state capital.
Professor Olufayo, said the Union had been engaging the federal government on the IPPIS issue since 2013 and had suggested best way to pay lecturers in line with Miscellaneous Provisions Act-2003, Section 2AA as amended.
Professor Olufayo flanked by ASUU chairmen from FUTA, Prof Olayinka Awopetu, Dr Kayode Arogundade of EKSU, Dr Adesola Egbedokun of OAU and Dr Omonijo Akinyemi of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said IPPIS platform had been corrupted by some government’s officials.
The Union warned the federal government to shelve the idea of forcefully migrating universities and members to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS) to prevent another unnecessary industrial unrest in the ivory towers nationwide.
The Union described the IPPIS platform of paying salaries as a deliberate attempt by the office of the Accountant-General of the federation to undermine university autonomy and commercialise education in the country.
“Academic Staff Union of Universities, Akure Zone, read with dismay and surprise the press statement issued by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) on the outcome of the interactions between the Union, OAGF and others, on the Governments intent of compulsory migration of our members to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS).
“the publication was misleading uncharitable and a blackmail against the Union by the OAGF having been flawed by the Union based on superior arguments on point of law as against the sentimental IMF policy being peddled by the Ahmed Idris Accountant-General.
“It is irresponsible of the OAGF to accuse the Union of promoting corruption by opposing IPPIS. The policy has provided ‘food for the boys’ under the supposed savings of N273billion. We marvel at this huge savings and request that he publishes a full list of MDAs where these funds were recovered and what happened to the recovered funds (loot?).
“Despite our cry of gross maladministration and mismanagement of funds by certain public office holders. the OAGF has not been heard to make any indictment. We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake a covert investigation on the operation of IPPIS by MDAs currently on the platform. then Nigerians will truly know who is shielding and promoting corruption.
“The autonomy act is sacrosanct and cannot be replaced by a policy, more so we have argued and pointed out severally that Universities are not MDAs and this fact is enshrined in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (2003) Section 2AA as amended.
“By respective University Councils the (IPPIS) platform does not consider the peculiarity of the University as it concerns Sabbatical,
the platform may retire you before your time. Retirement age for Academic is peculiar.
“It (platform) may cede the power of employment to the budget office and not University Council. New staff may be posted to Universities from the Budget office without due process as longas they have the power to pay salaries. We have heard of such in some MDAs under IPPIS.
“This will pose a lot of encumbrance on our members and resolution may tarry ad-infinitum the Budget office will wield so much power over Vice Chancellors and create another avenue to further subject the system to unnecessary interference.
“In Conclusion, the IPPIS tussle with the Union has been on since 2013 and we expected that a serious and anti-corruption minded government would have seen reason to respect the law and let the Universities run along their statutes. Once again, Universities are not MDAs, and should be left alone to run itself as the practice across the globe.”