The Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) has appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider its stance on using Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for paying its members’ salaries.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President ASUU, said this at a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other stakeholders in Abuja on Monday.
He said that IPPIS would not accommodate peculiarity allowances in university lecturers pay.
Osodeke urged the government to consider the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS)platform for the payment of lecturers salaries.
“There is no way IPPIS can represent the universities, the greatest problem university has is funding. No university can invest again because of Treasury Single Account(TSA),” he said.
He said the union called off its strike based on trust, adding that the country’s education was in dire need of human resources.
“If there is a problem in payment you challenge the university to produce one. We were challenged in 2020 by the minister of Labour and we produced it.
“In a normal country when there is a problem you go to the university to develop and not to go outside,” he said.
Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, the acting, Accountant General of the Federation, commended the speaker for the meeting, promising to explore the possibilities of incorporating the university lecturers peculiarities allowances in IPPIS.
He urged ASUU to allow the issue to be laid to rest in the interest of the students, urging the union to present a comprehensive list of its peculiarity allowances for clearance in the nearest possible time.
“We will sit down with ASUU and look at what could be done and the material peculiarities that ASUU was complaining about.
“For the past 20 years all I do in the AGF is reform. I want the leadership of ASUU to please trust us and with the commitment of the National Assembly and executive IPPIS will live up to expectation.
He said that contrary to speculations, IPPIS was designed locally by Oracle saying it was the best at the moment.
Speaking, Gbajabiamila, expressed optimism that peace would return to Nigerian universities soon.
“Yes, you may have issues on IPPIS and this is what we are trying to address by bringing in UTAS into IPPIS so that we will not have issues. The agreement wasn’t a stop gap measure but to bring UTAs to IPPIS,” he said.
On the issue of funding, the speaker said that the ASUU’s fear had been addressed in the budget, adding that the House has a legwork that about 500billion was included for ASUU in the budget.
“I have written to the Ministry of Finance on the panel report. We are taking this one at a time. I don’t want us to go back.
“A lot has been achieve and you have been committed enough to go back to the classroom and we will continue to work based on trust,” he said.
He called for a timeline that would be acceptable to ASUU to accommodate its peculiarity allowances on the IPPIS.
Gabjabiamila said the House plans to hold a summit on universities to address issues raised by ASUU on funding.