The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday vowed to resist the introduction of the Integrated Payroll Personnel System in the university system, describing the policy as counter-productive.
The IPPIS, the union also said, would erase the tenets of autonomy in the nation’s universities.
The Federal Government on Friday insisted that there was no going back in the policy, which it claimed, would check ghost workers in its payroll.
But the ASUU National Tresurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, dismissed the FG’s claim, saying the policy would only create more problems in the university system.
He said, “We do not really know what the FG wants to achieve with the new system. We have been telling the authorities that many countries across the world embrace decentralised system for clarity and managing of data. When you try to use centralised system as the FG is trying to do, the system becomes cumbersome.
“If the government wants to eradicate ghost workers, it knows what to do and where to go. IPPIS will not solve the problem; it will only create more. We are saying that we will not accept the policy because of the existing university autonomy system that governs all public universities in Nigeria. Indeed, the new policy negates the autonomy we have been seeking in the university system.”
According to him, the new policy will not work in the universities because of their peculiarities.
Aremu, who also accused the FG of paying lip service to corruption, urged it to seek better options of curbing the vice in the country.
He added, “We also have a peculiarity in the university system that can not work with the IPPIS. Under the new system, a staff name can only appear once in the payroll, whereas, an academic staff can work as a support staff in another university apart from where he works as permanent staff. This means that he can earn his entitlements in the two places. Under IPPIS, the system will only recognise his name once, meaning that he can only be paid once even when he has rendered his service in two places.”
The IPPIS, Aremu further said, would add to the financial burden the nation’s universities face, just as he expressed reservations about its use during promotion.
He explained, “With IPPIS, all universities would have an office in Abuja where they will employ some officials to liaise with the authorities. This is an additional cost to the existing overhead of the universities.
“Research by the National Universities Commission has shown that Nigerian universities have a shortage of about 30,000 academic staff and that the adjunct system, whereby lecturers from other universities teach elsewhere, has helped to makeup for the shortage of staff. The IPPIS will not recognise this system.
“In the university, promotion is done in arrears, so when it is done, staff are entitled to backlog payment. If the IPPIS prevails, workers will not get their arrears because the data system will not recognise the deficit. These are the reasons why we are against the centralisation of salary system, which is also against the system of government we run in Nigeria.
“The FG is planning to strangulate the union with the introduction of the system. If it gains control of the salary structure, it will threaten the union with ‘no work no pay’ and get away with it. If the FG wants to fight corruption in the country, the oil sector and cost of governance should be overhauled. So much waste goes into those areas and there are no attempts to check it.”