The National President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim, at the weekend, lamented, that the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government has made members poorer.
Comrade Ibrahim, who stated this at the maiden North-East zonal executive meeting and workshop with the theme: “Team Building for Effective Service Delivery and Strategic Position for Influencing the Influencer”, held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, declared that with the introduction of IPPIS members’ salaries had been mutilated and fractured, making them poorer now than before.
He further lamented that members of the association are not only suffering but also relegated in terms of welfare, adding that the coming of IPPIS brought an end to some forms of reliefs some of them were enjoying.
“The major crux is that our 2009 agreement, that somersaulted agreement, that agreement that was not done with some levels of preparedness has given us so many problems as members of SSANU.
“Our members are suffering, our members are relegated in terms of welfare but we are not deterred, although we have not arrived, we are still in the process.
“Individually at our different levels in our universities, some of us as branch leaders, we were able to convince our councils, our managements to understand that hazard is a hazard. Everybody is facing hazards in Nigeria, members of SSANU are facing hazards.
“We have convinced our councils and managements and that we have started benefitting from this (hazard) allowances and then the almighty IPPIS came and we crash-landed. Our salaries have been mutilated, our salaries have been fractured and today, we are poorer,” Ibrahim said.
He said the current leadership of the association came onboard at a challenging period, informing that the leadership inherited many problems.
According to Ibrahim, members of SSANU were living in a pariah nation, while the association was in the third row in the activities of unionism in Nigeria.
This notwithstanding, the national president declared the readiness of the national executives under his leadership were determined, focused, having up their minds to pursue the association’s problems with a view to getting over them.
This, Ibrahim said, was responsible for the changing fortunes of the association within seven months of the executives coming onboard, informing that this was achieved as a result of the synergy they have been able to build with all those that matter.
While praising the ATBU Vice-Chancellor for his simplicity and humble leadership style, Ibrahim slammed some Vice Chancellors for behaving as governors.
“Your Vice-Chancellor is a comrade. We came to Bauchi on the same plane this morning and I have not seen Mopol, DSS as we see in other universities moving around with a Hilux van with a siren.
“This is what is happening in other universities today. Vice-Chancellors operate like governors and you dare not try them. But just after their tenure, they become something else. But we have seen your VC as a comrade, someone who is down to earth,” the SSANU national president declared.
Also speaking at the zonal meeting, SSANU Vice President (North-East), Audu Isah, decried the state of insecurity in Nigeria, declaring that the country is at the precipice now.
Isah then appealed to members to contribute their quotas to finding lasting solutions to the problems confronting the country rather than compounding them.
He further urged members to remain calm in the face of the trying times, adding that they should conduct themselves as responsible leaders at all times in their write-ups, utterances and actions.
“We all know that our country is passing through difficult times at the moment. Issues of banditry, insurgency, communal clashes and all other crime and criminalities across the country have all combined to put us at the precipice.
“As leaders, I appeal to us to remain calm in the face of these trying times. We must conduct ourselves as responsible leaders at all times in our write-ups, utterances and actions.
“We must be seen to be agents of unity and progress and should not allow ourselves to be used to destabilize our land, the only country in which God, in His mercies, has placed us,” Isah said.
He called on members to see themselves as critical stakeholders in Nigeria and join hands with others to find lasting solutions to the country’s problems and ensure its peace without which they cannot effectively operate.
“We all are stakeholders in the project called Nigeria. We should take a stand to talk less, listen more and join hands with our compatriots all over the country as we work together towards finding lasting solutions to our challenges as a country.
“We must continue to contribute our quota to the stability of our country. We must always remember that without peace and stability in our country, we cannot report in our offices, let alone to work and struggle for the welfare and well-being of our members.”