The leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday, dared the Federal Government on the threat to stop salaries of lecturers for resisting enrollment on Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS), saying it will not hesitate to activate a No Pay, No Work resolution of the Union.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi spoke in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of ASUU held at the Federal University of Technology, Minna between 7th and 8th December 2019.
Ogunyemi disclosed that the Union has developed an alternative to IPPIS, a prototype platform called University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which he noted is currently about 40 per cent completion, saying Universities should be allowed to implement it in place of IPPIS.
He explained that the UTAS designed by a team of crack software engineers who are based in the Nigerian Universities, unlike IPPIS, would be deployed in individual university campuses, with different levels of control by the operations.
He added that this could address the uniqueness of the university system, particularly the flexibility of the payroll and personnel management.
According to him, with the Federal Government’s cooperation, the ASUU team was willing to deliver on the project in a matter of a few weeks.
He said that the attempt to impose enrollment on IPPIS on university lecturers by the Federal Government was a decoy to distract the Union from 2009 Agreement renegotiation.
He warned that members of the Union have been appropriately mobilised as part of the resolution at the NEC meeting in Minna to shut down Federal Universities across the country in the event that the Federal Government stops the salaries of ASUU members at the end of this month.
He said the NEC expressed dismay that the orchestrated moves by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance to impose the IPPIS on Federal Universities as part of government’s plan to distract ASUU from calling for the conclusion of the truncated renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement as well as the full implementation of the 7th February 2019 memorandum of Action (MoA) is reached with the Union.
He said: “We salute the courage of our members for resisting the tactics of the Accountant-General of the Federation to cunningly migrate them to IPPIS platform.
“As resoled at the ASUU-NEC meeting at FUT Minna on 7th to 8th December 2019, should the Accountant-General make bold his threat of stopping the salaries of our members, the Union shall activate its standing resolution of “No Pay, No Work,” he said.
He appealed to students and other meaningful Nigerians to prevail on the government, saying ASUU struggles for a better university system and a transformed Nigeria have always been in their short and long-term interests.
He said the Union was not perturbed that some of the ASUU members allegedly sneaked to enrol themselves, all those involved would be sanctioned at the appropriate time after due investigation.
ASUU President said: “NEC did not only reiterate its unequivocal rejection of IPPIS as an ill-wind that will blow the Nigerian University system no good, it also resolved that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and outright misinformation of the Nigerian public will make ASUU lose focus on its historic role as the conscience of the university system.”
He insisted that ASUU would resist government’s attempt to repudiate any aspect of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, which according to him, provided a blueprint for the revitalisation of Nigerian Universities, adding that the future of Nigeria was depended on it.
Ogunyemi recalled that the FGN/ASUU memorandum of understanding of 2013 indicated that a total of sum of N1.3 trillion would be massively injected into public Universities to address the rot and decay documented by the Federal Government-sponsored needs assessment of 2012.
He said it was unfortunate that getting the government to fulfil its promise has remained a mirage, insisting that government must keep its promise, “as the Union shall do all it takes to protect the sanctity of the 2013 MoU.”