ASUU president Biodun Ogunyemi (file image courtesy: NAN)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described the federal government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as a scam.

President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed this on Monday while addressing the leadership of the Senate at the National Assembly.

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Ogunyemi said forcing university lecturers into the system would destroy the education system in the country and take away the powers of the governing councils of the various universities.

The ASUU leader said the IPPIS as currently structured, was a violation of the university autonomy as enshrined in Section 2AA of the Universities Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 2003.

Ogunyemi said: “It is noteworthy that, contrary to the law expressly backing the governing councils of each federal university to exercise full control over the finances of the universities, IPPIS lacks constitutional backing.

“It is not supported by any Act of the National Assembly.

“The proposed forceful enrolment of staff of universities in the IPPIS will amount to subjecting the universities to the direction and control of Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“This is in respect of the payment of staff remuneration, salaries, wages, allowances, etc.

“The OAGF has no constitutional or legal backing to so direct the affairs of universities, the latter being creations of statutes via the Acts establishing the universities.

“This is also the case with the OAGF, with payments made to the staff of the federal universities through IPPIS.

“Neither the constitution nor any Act of the National Assembly confers such powers on the AGF.

“The AGF has been very clear about the status of IPPIS, that it is a policy of government, backed by a Presidential directive.

“This statement reinforces the position of ASUU on IPPIS that IPPIS is not backed by law and cannot, therefore, be used in whatever guise or circumstance to override laws and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Allowing the implementation of IPPIS in the university system would be tantamount to the OAGF committing grave illegality, which would lead to anarchy within the system.

“Technically speaking, IPPlS is a scam; It creates more problems than it resolves to buttress.

“One of the biggest challenges of IPPIS is that it poses great threat to our national security.

“The AGF claims that the goal of IPPIS is to engender transparency, accountability and probity in government expenditure.”

Reacting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan assured ASUU leaders that the National Assembly would work towards resolving the issue.

He said, “I’m meeting with the Minister of Finance to tell us what exactly is to be done.

“We’ll start with you today and then we’ll invite the government’s side so that they can tell us what they are doing.”