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IPPIS: Oil, gas workers protest, threaten strike

Employees of parastatals under the Ministry of Petroleum yesterday protested against the enforcement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as a system of salary payment. Armed with placards, the protesting employees of various agencies under the Petroleum Ministry marched on the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Abuja.

The protesters said they were unable to get their salaries in the last three months due to irreconcilable differences over IPPIS. Their placards had different inscriptions as “Pay us our money,” “IPPIS cannot work in the oil and gas union,” and “IPPIS should consider the peculiarities of the sector,” among others.

They sealed the entrance gate to the Ministry of Finance. An official of the union, who identified himself as Comrade Aron, said his colleagues received salary last in April. He said while the union was not against the implementation of IPPIS, the peculiarities of the sector should be captured. According to him, no two staff on the same grade lvel receive the same salary. He said: “Our payment system is simply performance based. Somebody could get one per cent as appraisal, another gets five per cent and another gets six per cent. And in some cases, some people when they are on transfer, take different remuneration from those at the head office.” Aron added that last year, a committee set-up by the minister of labour and the union was to make a presentation, but till date the presentation did not hold only for their May salary to be withheld.

He said: “We received a letter in June mandating us to join IPPIS payment or our salaries will be stopped. Meanwhile, we were not paid our salaries for May.” Aron said the union would be forced to embark on a nationwide strike, if the government did not address the challenge and pay their salaries. Addressing the union members, the Permanent Secretary in the Finance Ministry, Mahmoud Isa Dutse, assured them that the issue would be addressed and their salaries paid. Dutse said he would meet with the minister of labour today in a bid to ensure that their salaries were paid.

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