By Adeola Badru
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), which is a strong member of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities, has given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the issues of shoddy implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), non-implementation of 2009 Agreement and non-payment of the arrears of its earned allowances.
The association, at the weekend, during its western zone online zoom meeting held at the University of Ibadan and presided by the national vice president and chairman, western zone, Comrade Alfred Ilesanmi Jimoh, noted that it was disheartening government and IPPIS have succeeded in making SSANU and indeed the leadership of JAC of the non-teaching staff of Nigerian University look stupid for supporting the deployment of IPPIS platform in the university by the way the non-teaching staff has been treated so far.
He added that IPPIS has constituted itself into another government, deciding what to pay or what not to pay them.
Com. Jimoh said: “In fact, the platform which has been in operation since 2014, is still fraught with so many anomalies and inconsistencies that one begins to wonder if the agency has actually improved on its operations as often being claimed.”
“The high point of the legion of problems brought upon us include ridiculous amputation of our salaries as a result of illegal and unilateral removal of some negotiated Earned Allowances of our members, tax deduction, enforcement of alien deductions without our consent, non-payment of third party deductions including cooperative deductions and union dues to mention but a few.”
“It is disheartening to note that Government and IPPIS have succeeded in making SSANU and indeed the leadership of JAC of the non-teaching staff of Nigerian University looks stupid for supporting the deployment of IPPIS platform in the University by the way we have been treated so far. IPPIS has constituted itself into another government, deciding what to pay us and/or what not to pay us.”
The association, however, resolved that: “IPPIS must correct all these observed anomalies before the end of the lockdown, to guarantee industrial peace in the university and our continued support for the payment platform.”
“Our Earned Allowances which are products of agreements freely entered into in 2009, still remain largely unpaid and unimplemented, despite the fact that this has been a major subject matter in our strikes ever since. The latest twist is for the government to be treating the Non-Teaching staff as inconsequential when it comes to the issue of payment and implementation of our Earn Allowance focusing always on our Teaching counterpart. (We say this without any prejudice to our teaching colleagues).”
“We hereby resolve that government should positively address all issues raised by the SSANU in its letter of the ultimatum and put in place all the COVID-19 containment protocols before recalling students to the campus, as any reopening of the Universities at this point, without addressing the pre-existing industrial grievances in the system, would amount to an exercise in futility.”
Com. Jimoh, hinted that for genuine and lasting industrial peace to be ensured in the country’s universities and inter universities centers, the government must urgently look into all these complaints with a view to promptly addressing them.
“Government must pay all the arrears of our Earned Allowances and implement them for a monthly payment to avoid a mother of all strike by the non-teaching staff unions of universities,” he warned.
The western zone vice president of the association expressed sadness over the poor state of the Nigeria universities, which he said, was poor infrastructure occasioned by years of poor funding cum systemic corruption, to incessant strike actions which more often than not, has become a relay baton between the staff unions in the university.
“All these have cumulatively resulted in flattening the graph of the educational growth in Nigeria and the subsequent downing of the graph to the point that Nigerian graduates are considered half baked, un-employable, and incapable of admission for higher degrees outside the country,” he posited.