ASUU attacks Ngige, says won’t join IPPIS

Members of the Academic Union of Universities have reaffirmed their position on the full implementation of the 2009 Federal Government/ASUU agreement, insisting that they will not join the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

ASUU  on Monday began a two-week strike to press the Federal Government to implement its 2009 agreement and resolution as well as excluding public university lecturers from the IPPIS.

Addressing journalists on Friday at the Bayero University, Kano secretariat, the Zonal ASUU Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Lawan, said ASUU would continue to remain resolute on the issue of IPPIS.

BUK was joined by other universities including the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, during the news conference.

Lawan warned that any attempt by the government to dictate what happens in the university system would erode the autonomy of the universities by making them incapable of delivering on their mandate of teaching, research and community service.

He said the union had made it categorically clear that its members would continue to resist the violation of the Universities Miscellaneous Amendment Act through IPPIS, which is riddled with fraud as well as a constitutional drain on the scarce resources of the country.

Similarly, Lawan has dismissed as false the claim of the Federal Government that 55 per cent of its members were enrolled into the IPPIS.

He challenged the Federal Government to provide the accurate statistics of those who enrolled into the IPPIS, stressing that it was false.

Lawan said, ‘’The threat to stop the salaries of our members will not only make them more resolute but determined to fight this matter to a logical conclusion.

“Nigerians, especially the students, parents and other stakeholders should know who to blame as the situation becomes protracted.’’

He said the other demands of the union included the acceptance of ASUU’s ongoing innovation of a more robust system of human resource management and compensation, called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Dr Biodun Olaniran, has slammed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige,  for declaring the union’s strike “illegal”.

Olaniran in a statement on Friday described  Ngige as “a broken record”.

According to him, making the IPPIS enrolment mandatory for lecturers will erode the autonomy of the universities.

Olaniran  said,” LAUTECH lecturers have stopped lectures, supervision and  have  withdrawn their participation from statutory meetings.”

Meanwhile, the Calabar Zone of ASUU on Friday disclosed that Nigeria spends approximately N5bn annually to service the controversial IPPIS.

The Calabar Zonal Coordinator of ASUU and senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Uyo, Mr Aniekan Brown, said this at a media briefing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

At the briefing, which had members drawn from the University of Calabar, Abia State University, Cross River State University, University of Uyo and other institutions in the zone, Brown said the IPPIS was being run by a private company in the United States.

He said Nigerians should do away with the mentality that everything that comes from abroad is better.

“Let me shock Nigerians that the database of the IPPIS is not in this country. Those running the IPPIS are private company in the United States of Americans and by the laws of the United States, any data that touches down on the soil of the US after 14 days can be declassified.

“And we are saying that Nigerians who are workers of the Federal Government should mortgage those details to be bound abroad and if anything happens there then nothing goes on here?

“An average of N5bn is being wasted every year to service IPPIS. If you look at the last budget, it ranges from N3bn to N10bn, so, you can average that at N5bn. Now, how much could that amount do for a faculty of Computer Engineering today? Check the budgetary allocations and how much goes into servicing the IPPIS platform, then you will know how much Nigeria is wasting,” Brown said

He added “Nigeria is paying a whole lot to service that but in this country we have several departments of Computer Science and Computer Engineering. We have those who could develop software.

“But my take is if government has invested let’s say one billion naira on the collection of the department of Computer science or Computer Engineering to generate the software and then the patency to export that to the rest of the world could have been better for us but this neo-colonial arrangement of getting to think that anything that comes abroad is better whereas this one does not suit the realities of our operations here the unions take is that Nigeria should beat a retreat.”

He insisted that IPPIS was corruption compliant, adding that the university system has come up with an alternative system known as the University Transparency and Accountability Solution because of its peculiarities.
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