Striking university lecturers have claimed that they are not affected by the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, that only federal workers on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information (IPPIS) System would be paid salaries.
The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this while reacting to Buhari’s directive on Saturday.
Buhari, while presenting the 2021 budget at a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday, said only federal workers captured by the IPPIS would continue to receive salaries.
He ordered all federal workers to enrol on the IPPIS, saying the platform was meant to check fraud, including the payment of salaries to non-existent personnel. He said the platform would also check the payment of unauthorised allowances.
Ogunyemi, however, said the workers referred to by the President were civil servants and not university lecturers.
He said: “The directive was meant for civil servants; university academics are not civil servants.
“We have an understanding with the government to develop an alternative platform that would be sensitive to the operations of the university and accommodate its peculiarities.
“The platform we are developing will also respect the autonomy of our universities as obtained globally.
“The idea of seeking clearance from the Head of Service or the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is alien to university operations because it will halt its flexibility.”
He added that the University Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act 2003), which the government gazetted as University Autonomy Act (2007), had vested the powers of personnel and payroll system in the hands of each university’s governing council.
Ogunyemi said ASUU, on January 9, 2019, reached an understanding with the President to develop its proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for testing and adoption for managing personnel information and payroll system in the universities.