Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent directive on the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of salaries for Nigerian workers, the Accountant General of the Federation has met with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
Mr Buhari had said any worker who is not under the platform will not receive salary with effect from October 31.
At the end of meeting, the union said ”it is considering the enrolment of its members into the scheme to promote industrial peace and harmony”.
The IPPIS is an information Communications Technology (ICT) project initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration for its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
PREMIUM TIMES reported how ASUP had expressed its reservations in joining the scheme, citing the autonomy it enjoyed, as well as the peculiarities associated with the academic environment.
The union on October 10 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to address some of these issues saying if the IPPIS is effected, they would withdraw their services nationwide.
The President had also directed that all MDAs drawing their salary from Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF) should join by the end of October 2019.
Speaking at the end of an emergency meeting with officials of the Accountant General of the Federation in Abuja on Wednesday, the National President of the union, Usman Dutse, said the IPPIS team promised that the arrangement will address the union’s fears.
According to Mr Dutse, ”We just finished meeting with the director of IPPIS and his team. They came, made a presentation that indicates a template that captured our fears.
“Because in the series of meetings we had with them, we have identified our peculiarities which needs to be addressed, and in this meeting we held, they have made that presentation which indicates that they have captured those peculiarities,” he said.
He said the union will present their findings and discussion to its National Executive Council.
“Particularly, the issue of retirement age, 65 years has been captured. The issue of our allowances also has been indicated, sabbatical, part-time, visiting also, has also been addressed, issue of payment of our promotion, redress mechanism has been indicated in the way it can be addressed,” he said.
On the recently concluded minimum wage committee negotiations, Mr Dutse expressed hope that all state governments would comply with the law and allow workers to enjoy the benefits.
He said the body has a mechanism to ensure that state governments also buy in and promote improved welfare for workers.
“It’s a welcome development, our major concern is the implementation and government has promised it will implement immediately and we believe that they are going to backdate it from the time that the president approved the minimum wage,” he said.
President Buhari during the presentation of the 2020 budget proposal to the joint session of the National Assembly said any federal government worker not captured on the IPPIS by October 31 would not be paid his monthly salary.
He said this was part of the federal government’s efforts aimed at managing personnel costs in line with its fight against corruption.
He also said all agencies of government must obtain permission and follow due process as they embark on any recruitment exercise.
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) vowed to resist the Federal Government’s plan over the IPPIS.
The leaders of the union had summoned an emergency National Executive Council meetinG where it was agreed that the leadership of the union at the university levels should begin mobilisation of members for action against the Buhari government.
But the rift deepened yesterday as the federal government dismissed the union’s concern about putting lecturers on the centralised salary payment platform.
Meanwhile, the AGF, Ahmed Idris, has said the union is not in a position ”to dictate to the federal government on how its members should be paid their salaries”.