The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday said that its members have been rejecting to migrate to the Integrated Personal Payroll Information System (IPPIS) since 2013.
Dr Aniekan Brown, Coordinator, ASUU Calabar Zone, disclosed this during a press conference in Calabar.
Brown recalled that on March 23 ASUU declared an industrial action against the government for not adhering to their demands.
“For the records, we consider the IPPIS, which is a payment system as uncongenial with the modus operandi of the university system, given the peculiarities of universities. Government has made it a front burner; but we consider it a distraction.
“The mode of employment, retirement age, sabbatical leave, adjunct engagements, part-time engagements, contract engagements and others are concepts that are unique to the university, and obviously alien to IPPIS,” he added.
According to him, on the revitalisation of public universities, the government was in debt to the tune of N20 billion short of N1.1 trillion, adding that some lecturers were owed up to nine months salary arrears for their stand against IPPIS.
“On Earned Academic Allowances, N40 billion in the immediate run. This figure is as up to 2013. The figures for 2014-2020 are yet to be considered.
“For proliferation and funding of state universities, we insist that visitors to state universities should stand up to their responsibilities.
“For visitation panels, these have not been realised in the last 10 years. Yet, this is the very tradition of the university system,” he said.
He further said that it was 11 years since the Union’s Conditions of Service was reviewed, adding that it was due for a review in 2012.
The Zonal Coordinator said that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federal (OAGoF) has not done enough in addressing the peculiarities.
“Unfortunately, our Union had a number of meetings with the OAGoF and for all that the meetings are worth, they were opportunities to convince ASUU that the IPPIS is capable of addressing the concerns of our Union.
“Kindly note that our Union has been rejecting the IPPIS since 2013. Government challenged us to produce an alternative.
“The Union took up the challenge, and has produced one. This is called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
“Presentations have been made to the appreciation of some quarters. The Union has been ready for the final stage presentation to the National Information Technology Development Agency,” he said.
He said that the OAGoF was of the position that ASUU members migrate first during the intervening period, after which if UTAS is approved, they would be re-migrated to UTAS.
He said that the union had argued that this process was cumbersome and an economic waste to the Nation.
It was reported that the Universities under the Calabar Zone include, Abia State University, Akwa Ibom State University and the Cross River University of Technology.
Others members in the zone are Alex Ekwueme University Ndufo Alike, University of Uyo and the University of Calabar.