The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against the enrolment of federal universities in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

President Muhammadu Buhari recently issued a directive for the implementation of the IPPIS for the payment of salaries of all federal government workers.

The president said any worker not on the platform will not receive salary with effect from October 31.

But the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Abuja Zone, Theophilus Lagi, said at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday that the IPPIS will undermine university autonomy.

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).

But ASUU said it wants no part of it and vowed to resist being incorporated into the system.

It was reported how leaders of the union at an emergency National Executive Council meeting agreed to begin mobilisation of members for action against the government.

The rift deepened on Wednesday as the federal government dismissed the union’s concern about putting lecturers on the centralised salary payment platform.

Thursday meeting

Mr Lagi said the university system is dynamic and integrating universities into IPPIS would unleash on the university unintended consequences, which include mutating academics into mainstream civil service.

”There is no clear and convincing evidence that IPPIS can capture remuneration of staff on sabbatical, external examiners, external assessors, and Earned Academic Allowance. The IPPIS does not and cannot cater for the constant movement of staff in the cases of visiting, adjunct, and part-time,” he said.

He said IPPIS cannot predict and address the promotion of academics especially, associate professors and professors, which are subject to external assessment and will constitute an impediment in the way of the ability of Universities to recruit staff for new programmes as well as replace same, while newly employed staff cannot be paid their salaries until they are enrolled into IPPIS database.

According to him, section 2AA of the universities Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 2003 stated that universities should be allowed to operate in compliance with enabling laws, statutes, rules and regulations in conformity with due process and within the laws of the land. He said IPPIS lacks the flexibility to address the peculiarities of the university system.

“The law establishing each university is an Act of the National Assembly; hence, it cannot be upturned by an Executive action or operations of the OAGF. The office of AGF Should note that our members are not answerable to his office but to their respective Governing Councils and that no university in the world operates IPPIS-related system,” he said.

The federal government, through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), said it has concluded arrangements to enrol all federal universities on the IPPIS platform to promote transparency and accountability in government expenditure.

The Accountant-General of the Federation has also met with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in order to integrate them into IPPIS.

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