Buhari approves payment of lecturers not enrolled in IPPIS

President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of the February and March 2020 withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities, who had not registered in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

A statement on Tuesday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said “the payment was immediate and without condition”.

In the statement circulated by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, Ngige said “the President also directed the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment urgently by all means to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period on lecturers and members of their family”.

The labour minister added that all the Vice-Chancellors were asked to revalidate the affected lecturers’ Bank Verification Numbers and forward to the Accountant General of the Federation for the payments.

Payment opens doors for dialogue – ASUU

This directive by the president has elicited reactions from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The National President of ASUU, Abiodun Ogunyemi, commended the government for that.

He also stated that the directive was in the right direction.

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“Our members worked in February and we were still working in March before this Coronavirus pandemic broke. It is expected that a labourer be paid his wages. Even as we are talking, people are supposed to be prepared to get their April salary.

“I think what the government wants to do is to cushion the effects of the lockdown and the near paralysis of economic activities in the country on everybody including our members. We appreciate the gesture even though there was no reason to stop our salaries in the first instance,”he said.

The ASUU boss, however, did not say when the ongoing indefinite strike by the union would be called off.

It is believed that once the salaries are paid, the National Executive Committee of the union would meet to deliberate on the next line of action.

The implementation of the IPPIS had put ASUU at loggerheads with the Federal Government in recent months.

While other higher education staff unions opted to enrol in IPPIS, ASUU boycotted it, saying it would cripple the university system and erode the autonomy being enjoyed.

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Early March, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) that supported the IPPIS implementation criticised it following the discrepancies in the payment of their February salary.

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