Strike: FG Offers To Accommodate ASUU’s Peculiarities Allowances On IPPIS
The Speaker of the House Of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, arranged a meeting between the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU and the office of the accountant general of the federation.
The meeting came after three weeks of deliberations with the union and all the relevant government agencies to resolve the teething issues that necessitated the 7-month-old strike of the lecturers.
Gbajabiamila who led the principal officers of the House to the meeting had enquired from the Accountant-general and National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA if the university’s payment systems can be re-evaluated.
The Direct-General of, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said that all the three payment systems including University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS; Integration Personnel and Information System, IPPIS and U3PS failed the integrity test and as such could not be relied upon, the Accountant general, Sylvia Okolieaboh offered for a meeting with ASUU to resolve the issues.
He said that the issues would be resolved using the IPPIS payment solution.
He said that adopting UTAS might prompt unwholesome requests from other agencies to be paid in their own salary structure.
Okolieaboh said: “If there are peculiarities in the university salaries system, what we need to do is to sit down with ASUU and identify them and address them in IPPS, are you willing to accept, if the answer is yes, then the whole of the issues will be resolved.
What we need to do, in my own opinion is to sit down with ASUU and know what the issues are and address them inside IPPS.
“If we accept what ASUU is saying, it will create room for everyone to be asking for their own payment platform, the military is on IPPIS and health workers, ASUU should sit down with us and see the progress we have made.”
He also offered ASUU to come up with any homegrown solution, assuring that the government will abide by it.
“In the spirit of reconciliation, if ASUU knows what can be done, we are willing to adopt it to resolve this issue. It doesn’t make sense not to accept, let ASUU come to us, we are willing to accept,” he added.
“If we are going to adopt UTAS, that shows we are going to build the salaries of other civil servants to UTAS.”
Speaking, Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity said the federal government would not offer ASUU what it does not have.
Ngige said that the ASUU leadership met with the President on Jan.9 with the hope of convincing the government to adopt it UTAS platform for lecturers’ salaries.
“I told Mr President to let us give it a trial and I took it upon myself, I went to NITDA and other agencies and we looked at the system,” he said.
He said that the three platforms brought by ASUU failed the integrity test, adding that he couldn’t recommend the adoption of any of them, no matter the pressure.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President, of ASUU said it was unfortunate that Nigerians failed to understand how the university system operates.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila appealed to ASUU to call off its ongoing strike.
He added that the executive had spoken, just as the judiciary, and the legislature.
“Everybody cannot be wrong.
“We are working according to everything we said in our last meeting, please in the interest of our children, we have called you in spite of the court ruling,” he said.
On the issue of UTAS, Gbajabiamila said the report was with the lawmakers.
“We are more or less working for you. There comes a time all conflicts come to an end. We will make our recommendation to the President.
“You have a very good case, the minister dropped a bombshell before he left but I didn’t pay attention. I understand your feeling and emotion.
“You are not doing it for yourself but for the enabling environment and the future of our children. Please let’s take it and get to the final destination,” he said.