…as JAC issues 14-day strike notice
he Federal Government has asked Bursars of Nigerian Universities to compile all problems associated with the payment of salaries through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who made this known over the weekend in Abuja, also disclosed that government has received a strike notice from the nonteaching staff unions in the universities, and was making efforts to facilitate a meeting with leaderships of the unions.
The Joint Action Committee comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANUl the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU), had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to correct all the problems associated with the payment of salary through the IPPIS platform and release their Earned Allowances before the easing of the lockdown.
According to Ngige, his office was planning to apply for a special pass from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, for a physical meeting with the unions to thrash out all contentious issues, adding that efforts were on top gear to correct the problems arising from the allegation of payment of half salaries by the IPPIS office.
In his words: “We are on top of the situation. We have received their letter. Their letter borders on shortcomings of the IPPIS system and I have spoken with the Finance Minister and the Accountant General of the Federation and they said that they are in touch with the University Bursars to correct certain peculiarities and send back to them to treat.
“However, it’s important to point out that one of the shortcomings which the Universities workers pointed out is that the IPPIS is over taxing them and that IPPIS skipped some of their people who have taken leave of absence and the rest of them all.
“These are matters that can be easily adjusted. The IPPIS office informed me that immediately the lockdowns are down, these Bursars are to come up. But before then, that they should by e-system try to give them additional information on some of those shortcomings and that they will try as much as possible to correct them.
“We have equally gone out to the unions and asked them that we want to meet with them and the IPPIS. So, we are trying to see if we can arrange a special pass for them so that their leaders could come up here and we have the meeting.
“The zoom meeting will not be able to correct some of those things;what we have discovered; we decided that we have to do a physical meeting and we will do that as soon as possible. My office is working with IPPIS office to arrange that meeting.”
But the Chairman of JAC, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, has said government does not need to call for a meeting before it pays members their full salaries and release their payment slips.
Ugwoke, who doubles as President of SSANU, lamented that the past four months since enrollment into the IPPIS platform, members of the unions have not received full salaries, while deductions made for the servicing of bank loans which members took have not been remitted to the banks and Cooperative Societies.
He said: “Since the inception of the IPPIS contrary to what the platform is supposed to be, what we were told and what we believed before we accepted the platform, SSANU members and the nonteaching staff in the universities have not received complete salaries.
“From January 2020 till date, we have not received full salaries and since that time till now, no pay slip has been released by IPPIS to the universities. So, all that our members have received as net pay is what IPPIS wants to give us. It’s as bad as that because if you have your pay slip, you will now know what are the deductions made from your salary.”