On the 8th day of October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari was at the National Assembly to present the 2020 Budget. On that occassion, he informed the joint session of the National Assembly and the nation that he has instructed that any Federal Government worker not on the IPPIS (Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System) would cease to get salary after October 31st 2019.
According to the President, the measure is part of the federal government’s efforts aimed at managing personnel costs in line with its fight against corruption.
One major stakeholder at the receiving end of this Presidential directive is the ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities). At various fora, ASUU members have kicked against the order. As it stands, the Federal Government has made good the threat by withholding the salaries of the lecturers, as many of them that due to allegiance to ASUU have refused to join the IPPIS system.
At some point in the month of October, precisely on the 28th day of October, the members threatened to go on strike if the Government does not put a stop to such plan. The Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU), Ibadan Zone on Sunday, 28th October 2019 declared that if the federal government failed to remit salaries of members at the end of October, the union will not hesitate to declare total strike action to reinforce members rejection of the Integrated Payment Personnel Information System (IPPIS) being forced on them by the federal government.
ASUU insisted on no pay, no work while rejecting the proposed enrolment of its members on the controversial IPPIS platform.
The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Ibadan Zone, Dr. Ade Adejumo, while addressing a press conference at the University of Ibadan on Sunday, October 27th 2019, described the IPPIS as a new and strange regime of finance about to be forced on public universities in Nigeria.
Just few days back, they approached the National Assembly for legislative intervention in the matter. Recently, they suspended their plan to go on any industrial action with regards to the IPPIS instruction.
Now that the Government has gone ahead to withhold the salaries of these lecturers, what next for them? Strike?
On the part of the lecturers, they can consider joining the IPPIS if and if only the payment system is adjusted to fit their mode of service. For instance, some of the University lecturers that are also medical doctors in the University Teaching Hospitals usually receive salaries for being University lecturers and for being medical doctors separately. Such benefit will elude the lecturers if they join the IPPIS or if it is not adjusted to fit their desired mode of remuneration.
It is advised that the Government and the lecturers come to a roundtable and discuss on a way forward that will fit the IPPIS plan of the Government and will at the same time be in the favour of the lecturers.
Need be that the lecturers don't resort to strike in a bid to protest the stoppage of their salaries by the Government, as such will affect the academic calendars of the schools involved and of course, such does not mean well at all for our students.
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