As Nigerian Universities enroll into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the exercise has torn the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, staff apart.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government directed all the Federal Universities to enroll into the IPPIS before October ending, else miss their salaries.
After a long resistance by Nigerian universities, ABU authorities recently directed its members of staff to enroll into the system.
A Special Bulletin signed by the university’s Registrar, Abdullahi Ahmed-Kundila obtained by NAN advised the staff to join the IPPIS system.
NAN reports that the bulletin is captioned: “Commencement of enrollment of the Federal Universities into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).”
The bulletin quoted the Federal Government circular as saying: “This is to inform all staff members of the university that the enrollment of Federal Universities in Nigeria into the IPPIS will commence from 25 November to December 7.
“In view of the above, all staff members of this great university are by this notice called upon to be ready and start preparation so as to present themselves for the important exercise.”
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ABU chapter rejected the directive given by both the Federal government and the authorities of the university.
ASUU ABU branch chairman, Rabiu Nasiru, made the union position known after a congress meeting held at the main campus of the university, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
He described the forceful implementation of IPPIS as a violation of the autonomy of federal universities.
“It was clear to all present that forceful implementation of IPPIS would violate the autonomy of Nigerian Federal Universities as enshrined in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provision) Amendment Act 2003 (also called Universities Autonomy Act No.1, 2007.”
Reacting to Federal Government’s circular to commence the exercise, he said ASUU countered that circulars issued to Ministries, Departments and Parastatals shall not be issued to universities, describing it as a breach of law.
The chairman, who spoke through the Assistant Secretary of union, Abubakar Zaria-Ibrahim, explained that universities were governed by councils as contained in the laws establishing the universities.
The union then wondered why the Federal government would insist in enrolling workers into the World Bank-Conceived System even as it does not comply with existing operational realities of the workforce.
He said ASUU, ABU Zaria, therefore in a Special Bulletin circulated in the university, reminded members that its National Executive Council’s resolution on the issue of IPPIS was still subsisting.
“We are aware of the propaganda that the Federal government is sending a team to the university to enroll staff from Monday 25th November to 7th December, 2019.
“Members should remember that the union is engaging the federal government through a committee formed by the federal government itself to iron out the grey areas and ensure that the university autonomy, which we successfully fought for, is not jeopardized in anyway.
“Members should also be fully informed that our principal officers have met with the leadership of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after which the Senate leadership advised the Government to maintain the status quo, and that ASUU should come up with an alternative platform to IPPIS.
“in line with this, the ASUU leadership has written to all branches to make an input so as to arrive at a viable alternative,” he said.
The chairman, however, contended that despite measures taken, the Federal Government through the office of the Accountant General of the federation wanted to enrol university staff into IPPIS.
He advised members to remain resolute and take information only from the branch chairperson.