Indication shows that there may a looming face off between the Federal Government and university lecturers which may have serious implications.
The fresh issue may lead to the Union taking actions if the situation is not well handled at its early stage.
This came as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected a move by the Federal Government of Nigeria to use the 2019 personnel verification exercise to forcefully incorporate lecturers into the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPS).
According to Daily Post, ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi in a letter written to chapter chairmen of the union, a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST in Ibadan on Sunday by the Chairman of University of Ibadan chapter, Professor Deji Omole, directed members not to fill the personnel verification form.
Ogunyemi, in the letter, directed members of the union not to fill the 2019 Personnel Data Verification form being distributed by the Budget Office of the federation.
The ASUU President, while insisting that the union will do all what it can to reject the move, described the verification form as “dubious”. According to him, while the union was not against any verification exercise, the form of the exercise being distributed requires the supply of “IPPIS number” implying a dubious trap to forcefully migrate the union members into the IPPIS.
Ogunyemi said, “The attention of the leadership of the ASUU has been drawn to a circular from the budget office of the federation directing members of our union to participate in a Personnel Verification Exercise designed for selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“An item on the form requires the supply of ‘IPPIS no’.
“This suggests that the so-called exercise is a disguised way of bringing back the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which our Union rejected in the past with informed arguments. All chairpersons are advised against falling into the trap of forceful migration to the IPPIS. All chairpersons are strongly advised to discourage their members from completing the FORM under reference until the Union review its position on the IPPS.”
Omole, in his reaction, stated that the current IPPIS programme does not accommodate the peculiarities of the job of university lecturers. He noted that while government has promised to revisit the design of the IPPIS, it has refused to do anything since the union made its position known in 2014.
Omole said, “The current state of IPPS cannot accommodate the peculiarities of our job as scholar. Members should equally recall that the union has been engaging the federal government with a view to making relevant authorities to appreciate the implications and position of ASUU on the matter since 2014.
“Pending the resolution of the matter evidence of which shall be communicated to all members, no member of the union is allowed to enlist in the IPPIS.”
No one knows where this matter will lead to as the lecturers are determined to fight it to the last. It will be recalled that the union embarks on strike if its demands are not met by the Federal Government after it has used other peaceful methods to get it done. Will this may also lead to that if the matter is not addressed as the union has demanded?
The Federal Government is yet to react to the issue which is generating serious controversy and opposition.
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