The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has again appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shelve any idea of embarking on a strike action following Federal Government’s threat to stop salaries of university staff who fail to enroll into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi had recently warned that if the government goes ahead to stop the salaries of its members, the union will respond appropriately.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the issue of a strike action by ASUU at this crucial period, when the Buhari administration is doing everything possible to reposition the nation’s education sector for greater relevance, should not have arisen as such act could truncate the smooth academic calendar nationwide. It could also erode public confidence in the integrity of our university education.
“We want ASUU to acknowledge that majority of universities’ staff have signed on to IPPIS scheme and we believe that this should serve as an encouragement to others who are yet to sign on. And if ASUU decides to go ahead with its proposed strike action, it would have been acting against the will of the majority of its members who have enrolled in the IPPIS.”
Rather than embark on strike in response to government’s threat to stop salaries of some of its members, BMO urged ASUU to summon the courage to dialogue with the government to resolve all grey areas to ensure successful implementation of IPPIS scheme for the benefit of both parties, students and Nigerians in general.
IPPIS, according to BMO, is for the benefit of all as it has the capacity to weed out ghost workers and improve the efficiency of payroll administration in public universities.
“We urge ASUU not to allow itself to be seen as saboteurs of a scheme that has the capacity to weed out ghost workers and improve the efficiency of payroll administration in public universities. ASUU’s plan for a showdown over IPPIS can easily be interpreted as corruption fighting back.
“ASUU must avoid a situation where it would be seen as a union that is averse to accountability in the university system, especially as the country stands a chance of saving more money once workers in public universities are captured in the cost saving scheme.
“This is a scheme that has, since 2017, saved the country over N230 billion that could have gone into private pockets through the fictitious payment of salaries and pensions, according to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
“So, can one say that ASUU is threatening a showdown in order to blackmail the government to sustain a corruption-riddled system that has over the years cost the country several billions of naira?”
BMO also appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians, parents and guardians to pressurize ASUU to rescind a decision that is capable of reversing various governments’ investment in education.