IPPIS: Higher institutions granted financial, recruitment autonomy

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Tertiary institutions in Nigeria have got the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to oversee its financial and recruitment activities.

The Council on Wednesday approved the removal of universities and other tertiary institutions in the country from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) allowing the schools to deal with the salary issues of their staff internally.

The IPPIS had generated disagreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari resulting in a strike in 2020.

The body had earlier recommended the adoption of a University Transparency Account System (UTAS) rather than IPPIS.

The IPPIS was introduced by the federal government in October 2006 as part of its reform initiatives to effectively store personnel records and promote transparency and accountability.

Speaking to journalists after the Council meeting, the Minister of Education, Prof. Mamman Tahir said the Council relieved management of tertiary institutions of the burden of obtaining approval and waiver from the Office of the Head of Service for recruitment.

He said FEC took the decision to remove the institutions from the system because of its concern for efficiency and the management of the institutions.

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According to him, apart from the opposition to the payment system by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the IPPS issue had proved time consuming for university vice chancellors, “dragging the efficiency of the management of the institutions.”

The Minister explained that as the tertiary institutions are governed by laws, they should be allowed to exercise their autonomy.

He said, “It was a very happy day for the education sector because one of the problems which the vice chancellors, rectors and provosts of colleges of education, those managing the tertiary sector in Nigeria, have been complaining about has been the subscription to the IPPIS.

“You know what IPPIS does, which has made recruitment and many other activities of the university remitting to personnel very difficult. Now today’s Council decided, the President has directed that the vice chancellor should no longer… they have been taken out of that service. So this is a very, very important development for the vice chancellors that will allow for efficient management of the universities and tertiary education generally speaking.

“Then secondly, which is connected to that, before now when the tertiary institutions want to make an appointment, they have to write to the Office of the Head of Service for waiver or approval or that sort of thing.

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“Today, the Council, through the directive of the President, has exempted them. They don’t have to go to the Office of the Head of Service because it is actually not in their line of supervision.”

Similarly, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, said, “today, the universities and other tertiary institutions have gotten a very big relief from the integrated personnel payroll and information system. You will recall that the university authorities and the others have been clamouring for the exemption of the universities and other tertiary institutions from this system.

“Today, the council has graciously approved that. What that means is that going forward, the universities like the Honourable Minister of Education has said and other tertiary institutions, the polytechnics and colleges of education will be taken off the IPPIS.

“What that means in simple language is that the university authorities and other tertiary institutions will now be paying their own personnel from their own end instead of relying on the IPPIS,” he said.

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