Our salaries still withheld despite presidential directive- ASUU
President Mhammadu Buhari’s directive to pay February and March 2020 salaries of lecturers of federal universities withheld over their failure to comply with the Integrate Payroll Personnel Information System, IPPIS, is yet to be complied with as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, says its affected members are yet to receive any salary.
National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said as at April 24, when the Presidential directive on the payment of its salaries elapsed, none of its members received any payment.
Recall that following a directive by the president, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, promised that the payment would be immediate and without conditions.
However, ASUU president, Ogunyemi disclosed that a letter of protest over the no-compliance of relevant agencies to the presidential directive would soon be sent by the union to the Minister of Finance and other Stakeholders on the deliberate effort by the IPPIS to derail the process of paying their salaries.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for addressing this issue decisively: what we heard is that our members should be paid not later than 24th of April and the agency responsible has failed.
“If the agencies responsible refuses to carry out the directive, we are doing a letter of protest to the Minister affiliated and to other quarters that should be aware of this deliberate effort by IPPIS to derail this process of paying the salary to those who have been unjustly deprived.
“ASUU is not rejecting the payment of salary as directed, what ASUU is rejecting is the condition attached to the payment.
“From our understanding of what the President said, there should be no condition, We also know that the President directed the Minister of Finance to device any means that the salary withheld be paid latest 24th of April, So there is no way Mr President could have said gather BVN of scattered lecturers within 3days.
“Our members are not on campus for them to fill forms at bursary. Some of these lecturers are at their villages where they don’t even have internet services to fill any form online, there the agency is sending forms to them asking them to supply information that is part of IPPIS form.
“We see the condition as a way of putting a wedge on the way, it is a way of ensuring that the directive is not carried out and our members are not happy with it , now some agents have found a way of bringing in IPPIS form and that is what we are rejecting,” he said.
According to the ASUU President, universities already have necessary documents that could facilitate the pay as directed.
He added that “There is no way the issue of BVN could have been addressed in two days because our members have traveled to different locations all across the country which means the bureaucrats are still seeking for a way to force us into IPPIS, our BVN is requested from us, now the BVN form is attached to the IPPIS firm, they are requesting for BVN from our members and they expect it to be supplied on the IPPIS form.”
Speaking on the conditions for members to supply their BVN before payment, Ogunyemi said “our members could easily see the link between the IPPIS and the BVN request, the introduction of BVN or the IPPIS form are not part of conditions we thought should go with the payment of our withheld salaries.