The Federal Government on Sunday told the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, that the University Transparency Account System must tally with the IPPIS and also, since they already been paid on the IPPIS, the basis of their strike is not justified.
However, the minister of state for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba stated that the ASUU payment system is not ready.
Nwajiuba stated that the federal government has directed the lecturers to register on the IPPIS while developing their system so they could collect their salaries.
Read his statement below;
“When originally we asked them how long it would take (to develop the system), they said 18 months and after a while, they brought us a semi-finished product and said the six months they had been on strike they had used it to develop the system and that we should now integrate it with our system. The government said no, we are not going to fuse this with all of our plans yet until we independently work on it and see how it works which is where we are.”
“So I still don’t understand what the issue is. We have been paying them and all the salaries we have paid them, have been paid on the IPPIS. So I don’t understand what they mean by they don’t want the IPPIS. They are already on the IPPIS.”
“Out of 71,700 lecturers in Nigeria, we have 57,000 already on the IPPIS. So I don’t understand the basis for the strike. If it is the IPPIS, I don’t understand why anybody will claim they are not on the IPPIS when they are on IPPIS. I don’t understand why people will collect salaries and will not work. Even if you don’t like the system, do the work for which you are receiving the payment. I don’t understand it.”
“The primary purpose for which lecturers were employed is to lecture our students and that is why we are paying them. Now for six months or going to a year you are at home, you don’t want to teach, but if the government wants to approve promotions you will appear. If the government wants to appoint a new vice-chancellor, you will appear.”
The minister said the government was not out to punish any ASUU member. He stated, “The job of the government is not to look for who to punish or sack. We are in need of manpower in Nigeria. The reason we want ASUU back is that there is a purpose for which we built these universities.”
“In every other place in the world, you can’t shut down the university system and just walk away. It is only in Nigeria they do it.”
“The money government is using to pay these lecturers is the money we get from other people. The money is Nigerians’ money and we hand it over to lecturers for a job, but they don’t want to do it.”
When asked if there was no going back on the IPPIS, he stated, “The IPPIS predates this government. The IPPIS was conceived in Nigeria in 2013. When we came, almost everything that was impossible to implement in Nigeria because of institutional bottlenecks, we started implementing it.