As the warning strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) entered day four, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has criticized the union, over what he termed recalcitrant behavior regarding compliance to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
While reacting to the strike, he said it came as a shock to him, noting that he had never seen a situation where an employee dictates to the employer how his salary should be paid at the end of each month.
Ngige told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, that “no work, no pay rule” may apply if the universities academic staff stay away from their duty post on account of strike action.
Recall that the IPPIS policy of the federal government, which is meant to streamline salary payments for all public servants in the country had pitched ASUU against its employer, prompting another round of strike which began on Monday, nationwide.
While the government argues, that IPPIS was meant to check corruption, especially payment of double salaries for university staff, ASUU Insists that the concept was totally alien to it and ran contrary to the university autonomy system in place.
ASUU had hinged the latest strike on the various agreements signed in 2009, and beyond, including the IPPIS policy.
While Ngige is set to engage the striking lecturers in Abuja on Thursday (today), the House of Representatives had invited the ASUU executive members to appear before it on Wednesday.
But Ngige while reacting to the development, said, “This is an old story. This story started two years ago when the first presidential directive was given, for all public servants to be captured on the IPPIS to enable the Federal Government know those they are paying and to block leakages.”
“ASUU agrees with us that the leakages and the corruption needs to be tackled but they are saying that they have a special characteristic in that some lecturers teach in more than one university, that some lecturers go on sabbatical and while on sabbatical they teach in other university.”
“Government has consistently made it clear that based on peculiarities IPPIS can capture you. The only thing IPPIS does is that it doesn’t allow you to take double salary. It won’t also pay a BVN two times. That is it.”
“So if you go on sabbatical, this is government’s position, what you should receive in that other place is an allowance. And allowance has a different portal, that is the portal that doctors are using. You know that medical consultants have an arrangement by which they are employed at the universities as Lecturer 1, 2 until they ascend to become professors.”