By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
Members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi are lamenting that they regret accepting to join the IPPIS payment platform over unexplained deduction from their salaries.
They said the university unions, with the exception of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), joined the IPPIS in error, adding that the IPPIS payment platform introduced by the federal government has made them poorer.
The JAC Chairman, Sulisma Jatau, told newsmen on Tuesday in Bauchi that members of the two university unions joined the three days national protest to press home their demands.
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He said: “Three university unions joined the IPPIS because we were deceived that it is a platform that will eradicate corruption and bring transparency. We later complained about some irregularities in the platform, and peculiarities in some universities that the payment platform does not capture.
“They promised us that that platform is flexible, that it will encompass everything but to our dismay since we joined, we are now poorer than before. Our salaries are being deducted unnecessarily. In fact, for the past 11 months, every other month, we see different salaries. More worrisome is that we discovered that for you to correct one anomaly, you have to go to Abuja, which is counterproductive. We now believe that that IPPIS is more corrupt than the former system.”
He further stated that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the federal government on several issues since October 2020 but nothing had been done.
According to him, the contending issues between the two unions and the federal government are: inconsistencies in the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) payment, Non-payment of earned allowances, non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in the renegotiation of FGN/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreements and Non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members among others.
“We have waited for so long for the federal government to be able to understand our plight. We have to cry aloud to tell the public that we have been shortchanged and the federal government is not sensitive to our own plight, that is why we are holding this protest to press home our demands.
“We have so many lingering issues on the ground and as law-abiding unions, we don’t want to disrupt the calendar of the schools that is why we want the government to be very proactive in meeting our demands before schools resume or else we won’t be blamed for anything that happens,” he added.
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