Lecturers divided over IPPIS enrolment in varsities
•ASUU shuns exercise, accuses govt of propaganda
•CONUA members sign up for scheme
University lecturers are currently divided over the implementation of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the Federal Government.
Although the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its members not to enrol for the scheme proposing an alternative, the breakaway faction, Congress of University Academics (CONUA) has, however, embraced the idea.
Already, members of CONUA in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife; Federal University, Lokoja; Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE); University of Benin (UNIBEN); Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma and University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) have started enrolling for new payment system.
Chairman, Steering Committee of the splinter group, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu of the OAU restated that the union was for IPPIS, confirming that members had enrolled for the scheme.
He said: “We held a meeting with the Minister of Finance on November 14 where some issues of peculiarities with universities were tabled in addition to the explanation from the Federal Government on what they want the IPPIS to address. We were assured that these peculiarities are being looked into and will be factored in. The congress considered yielding to the government after assurances of resolving the peculiarities, combating corruption and violations especially in our ivory towers.
In the same vein, Dr. Ayodeji Ige of the Faculty of Law, FUOYE and coordinator of CONUA in the institution, told The Guardian that he had enrolled for the scheme alongside other members of the group.
His words: “I have collected and filled the data form while capturing will be done Friday (today). We in CONUA have agreed to enrol for IPPIS to fight corruption within and that is on the condition that government would be sincere with its promises.”
But in other universities across the federation, the lecturers have refused to enrol for the scheme.
At the University of Lagos (UNILAG), the IPPIS team from Abuja had no lecturer to attend to.
Some of the teachers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, accused the Federal Government of not consulting with them before floating the initiative.
According to them, government did not do enough to educate the people on the payment system.
“ASUU raised some issues which government failed to address. There was no enough consultation on the part of government concerning the new payment system and until these issues are addressed, no lecturer in UNILAG will enrol,” they stated.
The situation was same at the University of Ibadan (UI). The chapter ASUU chairman, Prof. Deji Omole, said the union had directed its members to boycott the exercise until government agrees to their alternative proposal.
He dismissed government’s claim that lecturers were already registering as “mere propaganda.”
On threats by the government not to pay lecturers who fail to enrol, Omole stated: “We have worked and if we have worked, we should be paid. If government fails to pay me, I will not continue to work. If I don’t have money to continue to buy fuel in my vehicle, why should I continue to work?”
Also, ASUU president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, debunked the claims as propaganda, accusing government of sponsoring crisis in the union.
He added that members would decide on the next line of action at the appropriate time.
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