The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday said the Federal Government could not threaten its members with salary stoppage in order to force them to enrol for the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System.
The union also alleged that some vice-chancellors were forcing lecturers to register for the IPPIS, which it had rejected.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday said university lecturers were enrolling for the IPPIS despite the opposition of ASUU.
The Coordinator of the IPPIS in the Office of Acccount General of the Federation, Mr Olusegun Olufehinti, said, “The salary is personal and if that is the case, then we expect everyone that wants to be paid to enroll because that will be the only basis you can get your salary.”
But in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, accused some vice-chancellors of meddling in its struggle against the IPPIS. He said overzealous VCs were “forcing lecturers to be captured on the platform.”
He said, “On the issue of non-payment of salaries, when we get to that bridge, we will cross it. The issue of salaries or no salaries is not new to us in this struggle. We have been threatened a number of times on non-payment of salaries. So if anybody wants to frighten ASUU, it is not with salaries. So we have gone beyond that. We believe that our principles and focus are more important than all these threats.”
ASUU added that its team would soon complete work on an alternative platform which the Senate was expecting the union to come and demonstrate before it.
He said, by the time the union put forward its model, the fears of the government would be allayed and the university system preserved.
Ogunyemi had on Sunday said the Federal Government needed to test its (the union’s) model of ensuring financial transparency rather than forcing its members to register for the IPPIS, which started on Monday and would end on December 7.
The ASUU president said, “On the IPPIS, our members are complying with our directive, except for few places where some vice-chancellors forcefully imposed the IPPIS on them, blackmailing and even causing division among our ranks. We have some of those universities where they are trying to impose the IPPIS on them. The VCs caused divisions and ill-feelings among our members. We think this matter does not concern them because if they actually understand the argument, they will know we are actually fighting for the interests of the system and not for ourselves.
IPPIS begins at Unical
In the University of Calabar, officials of the Accountant General of the Federation have started registering workers for the IPPIS.
One of our correspondents gathered that 11 officials arrived late on Tuesday and on Wednesday they were seen setting up their facilities in a lecture hall behind the Graduate School to begin the exercise.
Non- academic staff of the university were seen filling forms while a handful of security personnel of the university were at the venue.
The first group of staff that was being attended to were from the Department of Agriculture, to be followed alphabetically by workers in other departments.
The leader of the team, Tobi Orungbemi, said, “The date given to us to conduct the exercise is 25th November to 7th of December. The response has been good. You know this is the first day. We have to get the venue ready, set up our system. There is no resistance from anyone.”
Reps intervene in FG, ASUU crisis
But the House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to intervene in the crisis between the Federal Government and ASUU over the IPPIS.
The House decided to investigate the crisis following the unanimous adoption of a motion by Tajudeen Abass, who called for the intervention of the parliament in the crisis.