During president Muhamadu Buhari’s first term as president, even after reelection in early 2019, the federal government had pledged it’s commitment to curbing corruption.
Consequently, any medium or tool which is considered to be an instrument of the government’s anti-curruption war is lauded and improved upon by the president with relish.
The proposed IPPIS payment system hasn’t gone down well with the lecturers in the Nigerian universities. The university teachers through it’s body, the academic staff union of nigerian universities, ASUU called the government proposed payment scheme a scam restraining it’s members from registering for such.
Prof. Biodun Oguntemi, the national chairman of the body pointed out that the IPPIS restricts the ability of universities to employ needed staffs at short notice. Oguntemi further pointed out that such staff, when recruited, may not be paid until cleared by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), thereby opening new avenues of corruption.
The IPPIS in few words
IPPIS is an abbreviation for Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The payment system is a department in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation which was formed in 2007.
The project is accountable for the payment of salaries and wages directly to the bank accounts of federal government employees aswell as deducting and remitting third party payments from the salaries of federal government workers. IPPIS says it has eroded ghost employees from the payroll which is technologically driven.
On October 8, while presenting the 2020 budget at the national assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari directed all government workers to register for the IPPIS. He further ordered that any worker who fails to enroll for it should be denied pay.
The ASUU body had countered the government move, citing motives of truncating the independence of the university.
To further show intent, the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, sent IPPIS officers to universities between November 25 and December 7 reiterating that workers who do not eroll would be denied their december salary. But on thursday, December 26, ASUU through it’s chairman confirmed that its members had collected their month end salaries.
The body further put a challenge to the Federal Government to name any country where universities and their workers were migrated to a central payment platform.
The government is yet to comment on that, but a National daily noted that a source in the ministry of finance provided reasons why the workers who declined enrollment were paid. According to the source data had been gathered from over 95,000 university workers but there still exists other processes that would be carried out before they could be fully integrated into the payroll platform.
Since the payment platform wasn’t fully put in place, “you don’t expect salaries to be stopped at this festive period,” it added.
Meanwhile the body has offered to the government an alternative to the IPPIS for it’s members in the Nigerian Universities Transparency and Accountability System (NUTAS).
It said the system would handle adequately all the claims of the Federal Government on lPPlS while upholding the Universities autonomy laws as well as the peculiarities of the university Academic Environment.