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ASUU Strike: Federal Government Avoids Strike, Pays Lecturers



ASUU Strike Update: Federal Government Avoids Strike, Pays Lecturers

The Federal Government has made a U-turn on its determination not to pay January salary of the staff of the federal universities, polytechnic and colleges of education, thereby aborting the nationwide strike billed to commence on Monday, February 3.

It is gathered that the Federal Government has decided to halt its enforcement mechanism for a month with a view that the issues surrounding the scheme would have been sorted out.

The rift between the academic staff of the federal institutions in Nigeria is as a result of the refusal of the academic staff to enrol under the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, scheme, claiming that it does not accommodate the peculiarities of the academic staff.

In a letter from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, signed by the Director of IPPIS, Olufehinti, O. J, dated January 21, 2020, and directed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Minister was ordered not to release funds for payment of January salaries of the tertiary institutions.

Sequel to this, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, directed its members nationwide to go on strike as soon as the Federal Government stops lecturers’ salaries.

However, a twist was introduced to the saga as staff of the universities today received their salaries for the month of January.

It is gathered that the staff of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, and University of Ibadan, UI, have been paid January salaries.

Prior to the payment of salary, there was tension in the Premier University over the determination of ASUU not to allow the second semester’s examinations hold if the Federal Government kept its threat of not paying salaries until all the academic staff enrolled under the IPPIS.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the Premier University, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, has announced the commencement of the Second Semester’s Examination next Monday.


Earlier: ASUU Mobilises Members for Strike

An indication emerged in Jos on Saturday that the Academic Staff Union of Universities [ASUU] has commenced mobilisation of its members across the country for a strike action.

The chairman of the University of Jos chapter of ASUU, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, gave this indication after a special congress of the body held behind close door at ASUU secretariat in University of Jos.

According to the branch chairman, Dr Maigoro, “We are just coming out of a special congress which was conveyed to review the extent to which the federal government has implemented the agreement it reached with ASUU since 2009

“After the review, we have realised that the federal government has reneged in most of the agreements, they have only implemented a part of it.

Recall that we embarked on strike in 2015 and had to suspend it later when the federal government promised to implement the agreement in full, reason we suspended the strike, but the federal government has failed to keep its promises to implement these agreements.”

He said, “Some of issues not implemented in the 1999 agreements include the issue of funding of the universities. For instance, in the agreement, there are modalities for the release of funds, there are timelines for the releases of funds to the universities; government only released N25 billion after the suspension of the strike and since then nothing has been released again.

“Then there is the issue of renegotiation of that 2009 agreement, what was signed in that agreement has to be reviewed every three years, but since it was signed in 2009, it has not been reviewed.

 “It is very unfortunate that government will often force ASUU to embark on strike before doing what is required of them, this one we are talking of an agreement they signed. So the next strike is not basically on IPPIS as Nigerians are already meant to believe, it is going to be on this pending breach of agreement.

However, the issue of IPPIS is a new development that also affects us and we have made our position known to the government.”


ASUU Gears Up For Possible Strike Amidst Face-off With FG Over IPPIS

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on strike if the Accountant General of the Federation stops salaries of lecturers this January. This followed a circular from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to all public universities last week Thursday with information to with-hold January salary of lecturers who refused to enroll in the IPPIS platform

ASUU said that its congress members had resolved to activate no pay, no work as soon as the government stopped its members’ salaries.

The Chairman University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, Professor Deji Omole while reacting to this said that the union was ready to pursue her stand on autonomy and infringement on FGN-ASUU agreement which IPPIS would erode. 

President Omole stated it was unfortunate that even the President could not be trusted after assuring the Union to look into the matter and set-up committee to harmonize the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS ), which would take care of university peculiarities and IPPIS as tabled before him at the last meeting.

He added that the union would not be threatened to allow alleged “undemocratic public servant like Accountant General of the Federation to ridicule tertiary education.

“We are ready for them. We are not slaves that can be subjected to routine humiliation by government appointees “. He stressed.


Earlier: No January Salary For Unregistered ASUU Members due to Failure to Enroll on IPPS – FG

The end is yet to be seen on the current squabble between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on IPPS enrollment, as the FG has released a circular mandating the Director of Cash Management to stop salaries of tertiary institutions workers not enrolled on  the IPPIS platform.

Recall that, the federal government through the office of the accountant general had directed that all federal civil servants be enrolled in an Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) and ASUU had repeatedly kick against the system calling it a dictatorial moved geared towards caging its members. They had threaten a strike action, should the federal government insist on enrolling their members on the platform.


Earlier: ASUU Strike Looms As FG Stops Payment Of Salaries To Lecturers Not Enrolled on IPPIS

Report has emerged that the FG has issued a circular mandating the Director of Cash Management to stop salaries of tertiary institutions workers who are yet to be enrolled in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform. 

The circular which was signed by the Director of IPPIS was titled: Request for stoppage of Release of Funds For January Salaries To Federal Universities, Polytechnics and College of Education

It reads; “I am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrants of the Federal Tertiary institutions are ongoing and will be ready for submission on or before 29th January 2020. This is to give effect to the directive of the Federal Government that all ministries, Departments, and Agencies drawing Personnel Cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) should be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

In order to actualize this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to the Tertiary Institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January 2020.

Please accept the assurances and warm regards of the Accountant General of the Federation.”

Recall that ASUU earlier stated that its members will not join IPPIS as it does not meet the peculiar needs of the union and any move to stop the salaries of its members will lead to another indefinite strike.

With this development, ASUU may make real its threat to embark on indefinite strike.


Earlier: ASUU Again Threatens Nationwide Strike Over IPPIS

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) again on Wednesday threatened to mobilize for a nationwide strike if the Federal Government refuse to pay the salaries of its members for resisting to enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

This was made known by the ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in Abuja during a press conference on the outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of the union held at the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Niger State, between December 7 and 8, 2019.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi also disclosed that its experts had designed a “unique prototype of the IPPIS for the university system named, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which he urged the Federal Government to implement in universities instead of the IPPIS as it would address the uniqueness of the university system, particularly the flexibility of the payroll and personnel management.

 He noted that the attempt to impose enrolment in the IPPIS on university lecturers by the Federal Government was a plot to distract the union from the ongoing 2009 agreement renegotiation.

Ogunyemi said, “We salute the courage of our members for resisting the tactics of the Accountant-General of the Federation to cunningly migrate them to the IPPIS platform.

“As resolved at the ASUU-NEC meeting at FUT Minna, should the Accountant-General make bold his threat of stopping the salaries of our members, the union shall activate its standing resolution of “No Pay, No Work.


Earlier: ASUU Defies FG, Mobilizes for Nationwide Strike Over IPPIS

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its branches to shun the enrolment into Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which commenced nationwide yesterday in all the federal universities and get ready for nationwide strike action should the Federal government refuse to pay their salaries.

This followed directive from the Office of the Accountant General of Federation (OAGF) that all staff of federal universities should go with their credentials to their various institutions between November 25 (today) and December 5 for enrolment into IPPIS and salaries of any worker not captured on the payment platform will be withheld.

A source revealed to newsmen that ASUU in a meeting that lasted all through the weekend resolved to mobilize its members for strike action should the federal government suspend their salaries for refusing to enrol into the scheme. Efforts to reach the ASUU National chairman for comments on this have not produced results.

However, when contacted, the Sokoto Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Mr Jamilu Shehu, said, “ASUU is determined to oppose any policy that is aimed at thwarting the educational advancement of the country. If the government insists on stopping the salaries of the university staff for not joining IPPIS, the union’s policy of No Pay No Work will definitely be implemented,” he said.

He added that IPPIS violates the provisions of the Establishment Act of all federal universities and the union viewed the claim by the OAGF that ASUU’s position against IPPIS was an endorsement of corruption as cheap blackmail and a calculated attempt to sabotage university autonomy.

“Taking the next line of action depends upon the stopping of our salary by the government,” he added.


Earlier: ASUU Suspends Planned Strike Over IPPIS

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that the proposed strike over the directive of the  Federal Government  to enrol its members into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System has been suspended

We earlier reported that the ASUU members planned to embark on strike this November if the Federal Government withholds October Salaries over the issue of IPPIS

According to the President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a phone interview, the union had decided to maintain status quo, pending further meetings.

He mentioned that the Senate has intervened in the matter and the union are engaging the Senate and the union has received assurance from  the Senate that ASUU members will be paid when other workers are paid

He added that the union is proposing another template which would factor in the peculiarities of the universities and promote their interest.

“The point we are making is that we have visited the Senate President, told him that there is an alternative to IPPIS, the IPPIS as we see it, will not promote the interest of the university, there is no university or country in the world where the payment of university workers is centralised with the government.”

On the World University ranking, Ogunyemi stressed that enrolling its members would affect Nigeria’s status, and discourage visiting lecturers to come into the system.

“IPPIS will affect our ranking, because now scholars from different parts of the world will not be encouraged to come to Nigeria.


Earlier: ASUU Threatens Strike Following Face-off with the Federal Government over IPPIS

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on strike action by November if the Federal Government goes ahead to withhold the October salary of Lecturers over their refusal to enroll in the ‘new’ payment system known as Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS).

This was coming after the Accountant General of the Federation last week said the staff of any university that failed to enroll in IPPIS would not be paid their October salaries.

The Nigerian government adopted the IPPIS as a centralised payment system in order to block leakages and curb corruption and has mandated  all Federal ministries, departments and agencies of government including Federal University Lecturers to be enrolled in the system. However, the lecturers are saying there are sufficient inbuilt measures in the current structure of the university system ” that is capable of checkmating corruption”.

According to ASUU, imposing IPPIS on universities is not only a violation of university laws, especially the hard-earned autonomy, “it is a relegation of the federal government’s agreement with ASUU.” as it willcost federal universities their “hard-earned autonomy.”

Speaking on the planned strike, the ASUU’s Zonal Coordinator for Bauchi zone, Lawal Abubakar  said that the zone already have a standing order of ‘no salary no work’ which means the members would not turn up for work should they not receive their salary alerts on the last day of the month.

On how the IPPIS may affect lecturers, Abubakar said “the university may no longer be able to assist a lecturer who has issues with either his research allowances, or his rent allowance or his retirement benefits, because such a lecturer would have to travel to Abuja before he or she can get that done. But the university system is too dynamic for such delays and bottleneck.

“Secondly, the university system is so flexible that a lecturer may decide to disengage from service at any time. So should such a situation arises, and a vice-chancellor whose university has lost its autonomy needs to get a replacement, must have to go through some offices in Abuja; and when such officers would insist they have their candidate included in the list. A VC that rejects this would have to suffer the consequences of future denials of approvals, ” he said.

“No one can force ASUU to sign into IPPIS because the system requires us to fill the form, get our biometric data captured before one can be in the payment system.”

“We are not going to do that. And should they withhold our salaries, there is a standing instruction that we don’t show up for work a day after the last day of the month,” he said.

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