inally, the federal government (FG) has accepted to accommodate the peculiar allowances of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information Payment System (IPPIS).
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Okolieaboh Sylva disclosed this at a meeting of ASUU with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige and the leadership of the House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Sylva said that if there were peculiar allowances in ASUU’s pay, what needed to be done was to incorporate them into the platform, adding that the office of the Accountant General was willing to incorporate ASUU’s peculiarities.
“Let us sit down and know what these issues are and address them inside IPPIS. We can correct whatever mistake we make now,” he said while expressing reservation over ASUU’s insistence on the incorporation of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform for its members.
“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 said.
Sylva said that the incorporation of ASUU’s demand on IPPIS platform could be done without President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval, adding that there was nothing complicated about the issue once ASUU agreed to the offer.
“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. If we are going to adopt UTAS, that shows we are going to build the salaries of other civil servants to UTAS,” he said.
Speaking, Dr Ngige said the federal government would not offer ASUU what it does not have, adding that the leadership of the union met with the President on January 9 with the hope of convincing the government to adopt the 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, adding that the platforms brought by ASUU failed the integrity test and that he couldn’t recommend the adoption of any of them, no matter the pressure.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President, ASUU, however, 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 the enabling environment and the future of our children. Please let’s take it and get to the final destination,” he said.