By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
The Federal Government has debunked the report that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has been exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, platform.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige told Sunday Vanguard that the government was quoted out of context on the matter, saying, there was no meeting it was agreed that ASUU would be exempted from the IPPIS payment platform.
The Minister explained that at the meeting with the leadership of the university teachers, the government agreed that ASUU members that were yet to enroll on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they have paid President Muhammadu Buhari’s compassionate COVID-19 payment in the months of February and June.
He further said that the platform was a hybrid platform between IPPIS and the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System, GIFMIS platform which is for the transition period, adding that no government payment will be done without IPPIS knowing.
He said that IPPIS and GIFMIS would be used in paying the university teachers for the transition period, while the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS continues to undergo all the integrity test and cybersecurity test for confirmation for use
Reacting to the purported exemption given to ASUU on IPPIS, the Minister said, “The situation is that you need to get our communique to ASUU, I think it is better because a lot of people are quoting us out of context saying that we abandoned the IPPIS and that we said they should not be on IPPIS, it is not true.
“What we said in the meeting and what we agreed was that in the interim for the transition period that UTAS is being tested by NITDA and the Office of National Security Adviser for cybersecurity.
“For those transition period, ASUU members that are not yet on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they were paid the President compassionate COVID-19 payment done to them between the months of February and June.
“That platform is a hybrid platform between IPPIS and MINPSI platform for the transition period, that is what was used, it’s a hybrid. This is because no government payment will be done without IPPIS knowing.
“So there is a handshake between IPPIS and MINSI platform and that was what was used in paying them for that period and so we are going to continue with that until UTAS undergoes all the integrity test and cybersecurity test and it is confirmed for use.”
Also commenting on the new offer to ASUU, Ngige said, “The offer made is clear. You can understand it this way. Prior to the meeting yesterday, the Government brought an aggregate offer of N50 billion to ASUU. N20 billion for revitalisation to show good faith that the government is still with them on the issue of funding for revitalisation and pending the affirmation of the new sources of funding public education.
“There is a committee on that and the committee is working on sourcing new education funds, it is a NEEDS (Needs Assessment) committee. So pending that NEEDS committee affecting a new funding source and strategy, the government offered them N20 billion for revitalisation apart from the funds that are coming from TETFUNDS that is also used for revitalisation, they refused the N20 billion and said that they want N110 billion.
“And that N110 billion is 50 percent of a tranche of N220 billion government said they don’t have that kind of money and then increased that N20 billion by N5 billion to become N25 billion and if it becomes N25 billion, the Earned Allowances will be raised to N40 billion immediate payment making for a total of N65 billion for revitalisation and Earned Allowances in the universities.
“Government then said alternatively, ASUU can opt for the revitalisation to move up to N30 billion, while the Earned Allowances for all the unions in the universities will drop from N40 billion to N35 billion, that is the second basket offered them, either of the two. Either you choose N25 billion revitalisation plus N40 billion Earned Allowances or revitalisation of N30 billion and N35 billion Earned Allowances. ”