AGF threatens to withhold lecturers’ salaries over IPPIS

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The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) has threatened to suspend the January salaries of university lecturers for failing to enroll in the Integrated Payment Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

It was gathered that a circular from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) was sent to all public universities on Thursday to that effect.

Speaking on the new development with The Nation in a telephone chat, the Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Ibadan zone, Dr. Ade Adejumo , while confirming the circular from the AGF’s office, reminded the government that the union had a standing no pay, no work resolution.

Adejumo expressed utter disappointment with the threat of the AGF on the matter, especially, at a time when President Mohammadu Buhari had, after a meeting with the union, promised to set up a panel to look into the issues tabled by the lecturers.

He, however, described the threat to withhold the January salary of lecturers as another attempt to throw the university education into chaos, warning that if they carry out the threat, the union would not hesitate to declare total strike in the sector.

Speaking further on the agreement reached with President Buhari on the issue of IPPIS, the ASUU leader disclosed that following the rejection of the IPPIS, the union had provided an alternative platform called University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) , which would take care of university peculiarities.

“Our position is that the principles of IPPIS are in contradiction to the principles of the autonomy of the university system and the constitution is clear enough because each university has its legal pattern and it doesn’t have provision for IPPIS and it does not even capture the peculiarities of the university system.

“Forcing academics to enroll in the IPPIS is like dragging us back in the civil service system, and that will create a lot of problems and it was on the basis of that, that ASUU has developed an alternative platform called University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS), which will take care of the university peculiarities were are talking about.

“So, with these sayings that ASUU is encouraging corruption because ASUU has refused to enroll in the IPPIS are nothing but a cheap propaganda to blackmail ASUU and the union cannot be blackmail because it is a union of intellectuals. So, we have provided an alternative, it’s for the government to look into it and embrace the alternative so that we can move forward.

“Suddenly on Thursday, somebody from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation through a circular, threatening to stop lecturers salary for January.

“And we have a standing resolution to that which is no pay, no work. If they carry out that threat, they will only succeed in throwing the entire university education sector into another round of crisis. So, we are waiting for them.

“He claimed he was been directed from the office of the AGF. And the AGF has not spoken; neither has the Minister of Finance spoken on the matter. Really, we are shocked by this, especially, given our declaration with the President of the nation but somebody was trying to be overzealous.

“At our meeting with the President, this issue was tabled. And he promised to look into the matter, and even said that he is going to set up panel to look into the matter and we thought that was the way to go. And now, somebody is threatening to stop lecturers pay. We are watching, and waiting,” Adejumo stated. (The Nation)

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