There were indications on Tuesday that any federal university lecturers that failed to register for the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System might forfeit their December salary
officials at the Accountant General of the Federation Office had arrived at some universities and begun the enrolment of workers in the institutions despite the opposition of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
At the University of Port Harcourt, a top official, who does not want his name mentioned, said the Federal Government officials, who would carry out the enrolment of lecturers and others, arrived at the institution on Monday and had since begun the exercise.
The source told one of our correspondents that measures had been put in place to ensure that any lecturer who stayed away from the enrolment for the IPPIS would not get his or her December salary.
He disclosed that the government officials for the exercise were working directly with the university’s bursar.
“Those who don’t enrol will not get their salaries; it is as simple as that. Their salaries in this December may not likely come, unless they (government officials) did not finish their work in December. If they finish in December, that is when they stop paying those who refuse to enrol because the platform is to make people to stay in their universities and teach,” he added.
At the Ebitimi Banigo conference hall of UNIPORT, it was observed that an IPPIS enrolment requirements form was posted on one of the doors.
The requirements include letter of first employment, letter of last promotion, evidence of transfer (if any), staff identification card and birth certificate/declaration of age.
It was learnt that the officials would carry out the exercise for two weeks.
UNIPORT CONUA says ASUU causing crises
A splinter group of ASUU known as the Congress of University Academics directed its members to begin the enrolment for the IPPIS.
CONUA UNIPORT gave this directive on Tuesday in a communique signed by the Coordinator, Dr Ovunda Ihunwo, and the Secretary, Dr O.F. Mbalisi.
Reading the communiqué to journalists in Port Harcourt, Ihunwo described as irritating the frequency with which some ASUU leaders at both the national level and branches across the country incited their members to embark on strike actions as a means of resolving industrial disputes.
He said ASUU leaders’ action was a show of ineptitude and lack of patriotism.
He said, “We call on our members to enrol for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
“Higher education system in Nigeria is on the verge of a dangerous precipice and there is an urgent need for all the stakeholders; the government, the general public and employees of tertiary institutions, especially academics, to adopt deliberate measures towards salvaging the system.”
Ihunwo alleged that much of the crises that had rocked UNIPORT in the past three years were orchestrated by the current Chairman of ASUU, Dr Austen Sado, accusing him of destabilising the smooth running of the institution.
But Sado told our correspondent that he was being accused because he had continued to stand for justice.
Sado said, “The allegations against me are the product of the imagination of those who concocted them and no value should be placed on them.”
OAGF registers 200 UNIABUJA workers
Officials from the Office of the AGF were at the University of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday for the registration of workers for the IPPIS.
During one of our correspondents’ visit to the campus, one of the officials disclosed that over 200 university staff had filled the forms and were waiting to commence the biometric verification and capture.
The OAGF officials carried out the registration of the university workers inside a large room on the third floor of the Samuel Ogbemudia University Library.
Our correspondent observed that the university workers who filled the forms were non-academic staff and other categories of workers.
It was learnt that the university lecturers shunned the registration based on the directive of ASUU.
A university official said on Tuesday that the workers registered in the morning and the biometric capture was started late in the afternoon.
He said, “The officials are supposed to start with workers in the Vice-Chancellor’s office. They didn’t do anything on Monday. Also today, Tuesday, biometric capture has not yet started. But a large number of workers had enrolled. There are three stages of it. One, you have to be verified by a university account department officer, then fill the form from the OAGF and three, have your biometric captured. We have done stages one and two, and we are waiting for stage three.”
Our correspondent obtained a circular from the Registrar’s office which showed that the exercise would last two weeks.
No lecturer in UI will defy ASUU, says Omole
The Chairman, ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Deji Omole, on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of any lecturer defying the directives of its parent body not to register the IPPIS.
Omole, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “There is no way they can go against the decision.”
He noted that such was the decision of the congress held on Monday; with the ASUU monitoring team enforcing compliance.
UNIBEN ASUU rejects IPPIS
The University of Benin chapter of ASUU vowed to resist any attempt by the office of the AGF to force its members to register for the IPPIS.
The union, in a statement in Benin, said the policy negated autonomy granted universities.
In a statement jointly signed by UNIBEN Chairman of the union, Mr Monday Omoregie, and Secretary, Mr Fabs Amaechina, ASUU said compelling its members to register for the IPPIS negated the provision of the Universities Amendment Act 2003 (also called Universities Autonomy Act No 1., 2007).
At the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, one of our correspondents who monitored the exercise on Tuesday reported that non-academic staff of both Enugu and Nsukka campuses of the university were waiting for the arrival of the officials of the AGF office.
A worker at the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s office said, “We are believing that they will arrive this evening (Tuesday) to commence the exercise on Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, members of ASUU at the UNN on Monday after their congress resolved not to participate in the enrollment for the IPPIS.