By Adedapo Adesanya
Federal government has been advised to consider the adoption of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) instead of the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
The federal government and the university body have been in tussle after President Muhammadu Buhari directed that university lecturers must enrol on IPPIS to centralised payroll system for members of staff of the academics.
However, ASUU rejected IPPIS on the grounds that it violates university autonomy and proposed the UTAS as an alternative to government’s payroll system and this has led to the withholding of salaries of ASUU members for the month of January.
According to Mr Ogunyemi, if government holds the salaries of ASUU members and refuses to pay, they would embark on a strike action of no pay, no work.
He further said that the body does not want IPPIS because it was not in the interest of the university system as a whole.
“We are still waiting for government to respond to our proposal for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) which we are working on as another alternative to IPPIS.
“The last time we met at the Presidency, we came out with the impression that the IPPIS and ASUU should meet and talk out areas that can be used for both platforms. We thought they bought in to that but we are yet to hear from them.
“We have been reading and hearing in the media that government said it was too late and we do not know what they mean by being too late.
“We have had policies in Nigeria that were reviewed before the new one. So, if you know a policy cannot work and the policy is yet to be applied to the system, it is never too late for government to listen to voice of reasoning.
“Hopefully, we have given them voice of reason because we have found that our arguments are genuine, our arguments are patriotic,” he said.
Mr Ogunyemi said if the country was to meet up to global expectations, then the implementation of IPPIS must be thrown away.
According to him, “This is because IPPIS will shut the door against scholars who are to come from outside Nigeria, scholars who are not on pensionable appointment within the system.
“IPPIS will bring universities under direct civil service control and the system does not work that way.
“That kind of system will kill innovation, will kill creativity and it will also kill academic freedom and autonomy.”
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