By Samuel Adegoke
The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), on Thursday described the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, as high priests of corruption for implementing the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).
The Union, also lashed out at the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sonny Echonu as the latest federal government appointed liar on IPPIS, and challenged Echonu to tell Nigerians what is the percentage of lecturers in the fake statistics of enrolees on the IPPIS.
ASUU stated that if her concerns were not addressed on unimplemented agreements the government reached with the union and the IPPIS saga within the two weeks of the warning strike, the union should not be blamed if the warning strike snowballs into bigger and prolonged action.
Addressing a joint conference in Ibadan, the Ibadan Zonal Chapter of ASUU, comprising of University of Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, University of Ilorin, Kwara State University and Osun State University maintained that the union has been vindicated with underpayment, overpayment, none deduction of the third party deductions, outright omissions, among many other anomalies which characterised the February salary which was paid to those who enrolled on the IPPIS platform.
The Zonal Coordinator, Professor Ade Adejumo who was flanked by Professor Ayo Akinwole (UI), Professor Moyosore Ajao (UNILORIN), Dr Biodun Olaniran (LAUTECH), Dr Femi Abanikannda (UNIOSUN) and Dr Dauda Adesola (KWASU) stated that it is worried that despite the regrets being expressed by those who enlisted on IPPIS and other shortcomings and sharp practices, the Accountant General of the Federation and the Finance Minister are insisting on going ahead with the platform.
“Presently, the outcry emanating from university workers over the payment of February salary has vindicated ASUU’s position on the evil platform of IPPIS as an unworkable platform. To say the least, IPPIS is a haven for corruption rather than assisting in curbing it.
“The attention of our union is drawn the latest gibberish from the odious stable of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono. Ordinarily, we would have ignored the silly vituperation unbecoming of an officer entrusted with such high responsibility. We would simply have consigned it to the ash tray of irrelevant irritation which it rightly belongs, but the public must not be allowed to be misled by this public liar, Echono , a trained (failed?) architect who now finds haven in the civil service. If this architect of lies found satisfaction in his primary calling as an architect, he should have remained in private practice and be a proper employer of labour rather than joining the civil service where he now becomes an uncharitable purveyor of lies against the patriotic struggles of the nation’s body of academics in search of the best for our country.
“Echono should be truthful to himself and the nation rather than playing politics with fake statistics. Of the over 70% of university workers that he claims to have already been captured on IPPIS, what is the percentage of academics in his figure? The so called balance of 30%, what is the percentage of academics? In what way has the government responded to the plethora of sharp practices and irregularities that have been trailing the IPPIS implementation? How many university administrations have been prosecuted or even indicted for staff padding? Why have ASUU’s demands for visitation panels to the universities over the years been treated with such flippancy by the government that this high priest of IPPIS serves? On ASUU’s composition of its negotiations team, Echono’s parable of the carpenter and the nail falls flat on its belly. If the woes of the country have grown from bad to worse since the ‘Ali must go’ saga, to our current nightmarish experiences, if the deficit of good governance and trust continue to be our abiding fate, if our civil service continues to be populated by cancerous (un)civil servants in the mould of this Echono, ASUU will not shy away from looking for bigger and stronger nails to drive those that run(ruin?) our country to the path of responsibility. That is the historical pact of our Union with this nation,” Adejumo said.