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October 31, 2019 at 8:28 AMKCEE
Pioneer Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr Goke Adegoroye, has faulted the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU’s), resistance to implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in universities.Speaking to The Guardian in Abuja, Dr Adegoroye, under whom the system was set up, accused ASUU of harbouring ulterior motives that are counterproductive to national interest.Adegoroye also alleged that some academic staff might be working in multiple places, and fear that IPPIS will expose them if implemented in the universities.He said: “I think the only reason ASUU is opposing IPPIS is because many of them work in many universities, and IPPIS will bring out the duplications. That might be the reason; otherwise, why should they do that?”Adegoroye wondered where an employee or a group of employees derive the power to dictate to employers how he should be paid, which seems to be playing out presently.
He added: “Another point is, why should a worker determine the payment platform? The responsibility of government is to pay, and what platform the government uses to pay is its prerogative. If I were in government, I would take ASUU to the court of public opinion. This is what I am saying; everything is not government. If you love this Nigeria, we should always think of solution to the country’s problem.”He said the Federal Government stands to reap massively and financially from extending IPPIS service-wide, saying: “when we did it in six ministries in April 2007, we saved N416 million. And it was just a pilot study. Now the government is insisting and ASUU is saying no. But the question is, who is benefiting from the fact that government is not doing it over the years? The same ASUU is saying government needs to put more money in education, but you want us to put money down the drain to suffer the same fate every other agency is suffering all these years. It is not right.”
Going memory lane on how the IPPIS was introduced, Adegoroye went memory lane: “In case you don’t know, IPPIS was introduced during my tenure as the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms. We did it and got approval from President Olusegun Obasanjo that it should be taken service wide. When President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua came, we got another approval to revalidate what Obasanjo did. That is around 2007. It pains me that 12 years later, the IPPIS scheme has not covered the entire workforce of government. For 12 years, we are losing a whole lot of money to shady practices.”
Indeed, ASUU says it rejects the introduction of IPPIS into the university system because it violates the autonomy of the ivory towers.
ASUU Coordinator in Lagos Zone, Prof Olusiji Sowande, who stated this recently at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), said the policy is not acceptable to the union.Sowande noted that it was important for the Federal Government to consider the peculiarities of universities, and the enabling laws before such decisions could be made.He added that universities operated differently from the civil service, and should, therefore, not be seen as appendages of government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“In addition to the Act establishing each university, there is the Universities Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 2003. The Act states in Section 2(A) that the power of the council shall be exercised as in the laws and statutes of each university, and to that extent, the establishment circulars that are inconsistent with the laws and statutes of the university, shall not apply to the university.“IPPIS will not recognise nor adequately capture the flexibility and peculiarities of the university system in terms of replacement/recruitment of staff,” he said.
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