The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to consider the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform for the payment of salaries of university lecturers.
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, made the plea at a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila in Abuja on Monday.
He also urged the government to reconsider its insistence on paying ASUU members with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
What they said:
While pressing home his point at the meeting, the ASUU President said:
“If there is a problem in payment, you challenge the university to produce one. We were challenged in 2020 by the minister of labour and we produced it. In a normal country when there is a problem you go to the university for a solution and not outside.”
Reacting to this, the Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, urged ASUU to allow the issue to be laid to rest in the interest of the students. He advised the union to present a comprehensive list of its peculiarity allowances for clearance in the nearest time possible.
“We will sit down with ASUU and look at what could be done and the material peculiarities that ASUU was complaining about.
“For the past 20 years, all I do in the AGF is reform. I want the leadership of ASUU to please trust us and with the commitment of the National Assembly and executive, IPPIS will live up to expectations.”
He further noted that IPPIS was designed locally by Oracle, claiming that it is the best at the moment.
On his part, House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said ASUU may have issues with IPPIS, and this is what the House of Reps is trying to address by bringing UTAS into IPPIS so that we will not have issues.
“The agreement isn’t a stopgap measure but to bring UTAs to IPPIS,” he said.
On the issue of funding, the speaker assured that ASUU’s fear had been addressed in the budget, stating that the House noted N500 billion was included for ASUU in the budget.
“A lot has been achieved and you have been committed enough to go back to the classroom and we will continue to work based on trust,” he said.
He called for a timeline that would be acceptable to ASUU to accommodate its peculiarity allowances on the IPPIS.
What you should know
ASUU members embarked on a strike on February 14, 2022, to press home demands on the federal government which it suspended this month.
Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Other demands include payment of promotion arrears and the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.