By Ola Ajayi – Ibadan
AS the face-off between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government over a new payment system-IPPIS continues, the union has condemned non-release of payslips to its members by its employer since February this year. As far as the union is concerned, the action itself is fraudulent.
READ ALSO: ASUU faults Ngige’s comments on strike
Speaking through the Chairman of University of Ibadan chapter, Prof Ayo Akinwole, the union noted, “it is not for federal government to fraudulently remove taxes of gross pay. Taxes are only deducted on basic but the IPPIS fraudulently deducted from gross pay of our members”.
“Since February, no one has received the payslip to even know what was deducted. This is fraud of the highest order. IPPIS has broken all existing laws. It is fraud to deduct money from people who have not indicated interest in the National Housing Scheme.”
The union also faulted the comments of government officials especially that of the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige.
ASUU stated that the posture of Ngige on the ongoing strike and his alleged careless talks had exposed him as someone benefiting from the strike and lacking the leadership qualities to solve problem for his principal.
Ngige had stated in his country home that ASUU was on strike because of IPPIS and alleged that the Union was running away from negotiation table with a threat to drag ASUU to industrial Court.
Professor Akinwole accused the minister of misinforming Nigerians about the reasons for going on strike.
He explained that ASUU started the strike because of the alleged failure of the Buhari Government to honour the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union on February 7, 2019.
Other reasons listed by the union include payment of revitalisation fund, payment of outstanding balance of the earned academic allowances, proliferation and non-funding of state Universities and the failure of government to set up visitation panels to federal universities.
ASUU stated that Ngige should ask President Muhammadu Buhari to honour agreements signed with the Union and see if the union will not suspend the ongoing strike.
The ASUU leader noted that apart from Ngige’s unguarded utterances on the ongoing strike, comments of officials of government to issues affecting majority of Nigerians have been callous and wicked.
Akinwole said ASUU leadership has been holding meetings online via technology and will never run away from any meeting that has clearly set agenda for discussion.
“ASUU did not reject any invitation to attend meeting with government. As a matter of fact, we have been asking government to let us conclude renegotiation since but people like Ngige seems to benefit more from dispute than when things are normal.”
“Ngige should be educated that taxes are negotiated by each institution with their states and that is what they pay” he concluded.