The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has reiterated the readiness of the federal government to ensure the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
Ngige further revealed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities allegedly plunged the Federal Government into N800bn debt resulting from irregularities in payroll.
The minister made this disclosure during an interview with reporters in his Alor home; in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He said the main reason ASUU went on strike was because of the introduction of IPPIS; that had allegedly blocked loopholes for pilfering and exposed huge fraud in the system.
Ngige added, “They are not, and because they are not, the shortfall in the taxes they deducted; the various state governments where those universities are domiciled have petitioned the Joint Tax Board to demand this shortfall to be paid by the Federal Government which is the principal employer of these university teachers.
“And over some time, that has accumulated into about N800bn which the Joint Tax Board has billed the Federal Government; as monies that have not been paid to those sub-national governments; the state governments.
“And the Joint Tax Board is the enforcer. So, the Federal Government through the Accountant-General had to pay that money, over N800bn.
“IPPIS takes care of all these shortcomings. ASUU refused and insisted that they have a system that is better than the IPPIS; that the IPPIS has some shortcomings; that it doesn’t capture those who are on sabbatical. It doesn’t capture visiting lecturers and some other things they mentioned.”
The Minister claimed when the government asked ASUU to come forward with a payment system it (ASUU) claimed was better than IPPIS, the university teachers petered out.