The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has alleged that some persons in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) are thwarting its efforts to reach an agreement with the Federal Government on the payment system of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) based on selfish reasons.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi disclosed this on Sunday, adding that the union would soon expose the people that are feeding fat on the adoption of the payment platform which according to him, was not part of the initial reasons for the strike which began in March.
He said that the memo from the office of the AGF regarding the non-payment of federal workers not yet captured on the IPPIS platform as from November was not binding on the union members.
According to him, “All the agreements we have been having since 1992 with the government have always been having the provision that circulars emanating from the civil service which don’t have origin in collective bargaining with the government won’t be binding on us.”
“Circulars that will be binding on us are those coming out of our negotiation with the government like what we had in autonomy for university, retirement age and others. They can be respected because they are products of collective bargaining.”
Prof. Ogunyemi explained that there was a meeting with the government where it was agreed that if ASUU could develop a better alternative to the IPPIS, such an alternative would be adopted.
He further revealed that based on the agreement, the union had introduced the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS) and in the presence of the Minister, the Permanent Secretary and the leadership of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the system use had been demonstrated.
The ASUU boss, while appealing for understanding, claimed that its members, who are being owed between three and eight months salaries are fighting for access to quality education and competitive advantage of students in the global market.
Meanwhile, feelers from federal universities in some parts of the country indicate that the government’s directive that schools should start resuming from Monday, October 12, may not hold water. This is because the ongoing strike by ASUU and the 14 days warning strike by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) may stall that.