The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as being suggested by the union.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the ASUU President, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that university lecturers must enrol on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU had rejected IPPIS, insisting that it violates university autonomy and proposed the UTAS as an alternative to government’s centralised payroll system of IPPIS.
According to him, the matter as far as the government side is concerned is still where they left it.
“But we believe our members do not want IPPIS because it is not in the interest of the system.
“So, we are still waiting for government to respond to our proposal for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution 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 being 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.
Ogunyemi noted that there was nowhere in the world where IPPIS is being implemented that universities are put under the civil service. Then why should Nigeria be an exception?
He said if Nigeria wants to have 21st century universities, with global ranking, it cannot be achieved through IPPIS.
“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 kill academic freedom and autonomy.”
He also threatened that if government holds the salaries of ASUU members, they would embark on a strike action of no pay, no work.