Every grown Nigerian knows about ASUU and their hard-earned reputation. No judgments here; everybody must be known for something. At this point, ASUU or the news of any of their strikes shouldn’t really be news, but because these things affect hundreds of thousands of students, we can’t get that wish.
So what is it this time?
Err, how do we say it? As you may have guessed, it’s about money again. When is it never? So, the Federal Government would like ASUU to come aboard the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to receive their salaries from the government.
Easy-Peasy, right? Apparently not!
ASUU has kicked against the directive. They have their reasons, though. During a meeting with the Senate on Monday, ASUU National President, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi listed the following as some of the reasons they think the payment system is a “scam.”
- The IPPIS lacks constitutional backing; neither is it supported by any Act of the National Assembly.
- The system does not capture the remuneration of staff on sabbatical, external examiners, external assessors, and Earned Academic Allowances. It does not address the movement of staff as in the case of visiting, adjunct, part-time, consultancy service, which academics offer across universities in Nigeria.
- The system may affect some of the processes involved in promotion exercises, especially the payment of arrears.
- The payment system will also inhibit universities from employing staff on short notice because if the system is activated, such staff may not be paid until cleared by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
- He may or may not have also said that the IPPIS is a threat to national security.
In summary, their arguments revolve around the fact that the payment system the Federal Government is bent on introducing will make it a pain to get paid for their work. But can’t they sit with the Federal Government and talk like grown-ups? That seems to be a way that works, isn’t it? I don’t know if that has happened or if it will happen, but at the moment, the FG is going through with the October 31 deadline, and ASUU is threatening to go on strike the moment that happens.
Of course, Nigerians have reacted to this on Twitter, and no one seems to understand ASUU’s concerns and no one is standing with them.
Woah! Looks like ASUU is on their own with this one.