The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has again challenged the Federal Government to present to the public a verifiable proof that it has saved huge amounts of money through its newly introduced Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for workers.
Tribune Online reports that ASUU said if the government fails to do this, its representatives, especially the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, should stop spreading falsehood, in the interest of development in the university system.
This was contained in a statement by the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, branch of the union, signed by its chairman, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, in response to some of Dr Ngige’s comments in an interview he recently granted some media organisations on the subsisting industrial dispute between the government and the union.
According to the union, if indeed, as Dr Ngige claimed, the government stopped the old salary payment platform, GIFMIS, because money was being lost through it, the logical thing for the government to have done was to explain how such money was being lost, how much had been lost, as well as reveal the identity of those responsible for the sleaze.
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ASUU said it remains a mystery why the government has consistently ignored its calls for probe of university administration and visitation panels over the years in order to unravel the rot in the system.
The union said it had yet to see any vice-chancellor or bursar in public universities dismissed for corruption, asking if detection of ‘ghost workers’ is rocket science for a sincere government to discover.
Reacting to the minister’s claims that some lecturers collect salaries from multiple sources, the union said such claim shows that the minister has very little or no knowledge of how the university system runs globally.
“The issue of some lecturers drawing salaries from the Federal Government in more than two places is an outright falsehood and a cheap blackmail for which many people who are knowledgeable about the university system are laughing at the government,” it noted.
The union said the university system everywhere in the world is not like the core civil service, the reason it did not join the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) until recently.
According to it, except in cases of sabbatical leave, adjunct lectureship and part-time lecturing, no lecturer in any public university in the country can take two paid jobs in any federal establishment at the same time as the job of the academic is too tedious and demanding to allow such.
ASUU said its ongoing strike is not only against the forceful migration of ASUU members to IPPIS but also to ensure that the Federal Government implements the Memorandum of Action it voluntarily agreed to with the union to revitalise the university system.