The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will not back down in its opposition to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) according to the Chairman of the Union, Biodun Ogunyemi.
Ogunyemi made this assertion on Monday, October 28; during a courtesy visit to the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, while describing the system as a scam.
The new struggle by the union followed a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that all workers under the Federal Government must be enrolled under IPPIS.
The IPPIS is an information Communications Technology (ICT) project initiated by the government to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration for its Ministries; Departments and Agencies (MDAs) being handled by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“Technically speaking, IPPlS is a scam; It creates more problems than it resolves to buttress:
“The AGF claims that the goal of IPPIS is to engender transparency, accountability and probity in government expenditure. However, to combat corruption in either financial management or personnel and payroll management, the preferred strategy is decentralization and not centralization,” the ASUU Chairman explained.
According to him, IPPIS tends to bring Nigerian Universities under a general practice that is meant for the civil service.
“It will also infringe on academic freedom, and consequently retards the efforts of our country to develop the much sought-after knowledge-based economy”, he stated.
He noted further that the powers of the Auditor-General for the Federation to direct audit of public accounts.
This is as provided under Section 85 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not extend to Statutory Corporations; Commissions, Authorities, Agencies and Bodies established by an Act of the National Assembly.
“It is because of this provision that the Auditor-General does not directly audit the accounts of Federal Universities.
“This is also the case with the OAGF, with payments made to the staff of the Federal Universities through IPPIS. Neither the constitution nor any Act of the National Assembly confer such powers on the OAGF.”
Ogunyemi explained further that “In its current form; the IPPIS does not capture the peculiarities of the structure of the establishment of the university system; which is flexible and pragmatic.
“The system does not, for example, capture the remuneration of staff on sabbatical; external examiners, external assessors, and Earned Academic Allowances.
“It does not address the movement of staff as in the case of visiting; adjunct, part-time, consultancy service, which academics offer across universities in Nigeria.