The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, Dr Christopher Echereobia, has lamented over what he described as inconsistencies in payment of salaries and other emoluments for lecturers.
He blamed the irregularities on the Federal Government’s preference of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) over ASUU’s choice of the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS).
The union chairman, while interacting with newsmen in his office on Friday, said that the debate over which payment system was best for Universities had lingered and had resulted in non-payment of emoluments to some lecturers.
He declared that such situations if not urgently handled could force lecturers to embark on an industrial strike in the country.
Speaking on the recent promotion of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami to the rank of Professor of Cyber Security in FUTO, he said that ASUU had set up a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding Pantami’s promotion.
Echereobia who said that ASUU would be guided by the submissions of the committee added that the investigation was a necessary step, considering the reactions emanating from different quarters after the promotion.
The body commended the Federal Government’s approval of stipends for students of education in public tertiary institutions.
Echereobia, a senior lecturer in FUTO’s Department of Crop Science and Technology, described the decision as a step in the right direction.
He said that education was the bedrock of excellence in all fields of human endeavour and added that successful countries had gotten it right with their education systems.
Echereobia also said that the funds, if properly channelled, would alleviate the suffering of poor students and encourage aspiring students to consider a career in education.
He, however, called on the government to take cogent steps to ensure that funds for the stipend, when disbursed, get to the intended beneficiaries.
“To pay stipends to students of education is a welcome development and a step in the right direction because it will encourage more students to pursue a career in education thus strengthening the foundation for a greater Nigeria.
He said: “I urge the Federal Government to put necessary machinery in place so as to ensure that funds for this purpose are not diverted to the wrong purse”.
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